This study was undertaken to describe practice patterns of oral and maxillofacial surgeons in Australia and compare trends over time. All registered oral and maxillofacial surgeons in Australia were surveyed in 1990 and 2000 using mailed self-complete questionnaires. Data were available from 79 surgeons from 1990 (response rate = 73.8%) and 116 surgeons from 2000 (response rate = 65.1%). In both 1990 and 2000 the majority of surgeons worked 80+% of the time in the private sector (64.1 and 71.4%), had 80+% referrals from dental versus medical sources (74.0 and 74.7%), and had 80+% of patients from dentoalveolar rather than major maxillofacial surgery (70.7 and 69.7%). The percentage of dual qualified (dental plus medical degree) surgeons increased from 2.5% in 1990 to 17.1% in 2000 (P < 0.05; chi2). In 2000, surgeons who worked less than 80% in the private sector were more likely to report being overworked (57.9%) and that more surgeons were required in the public sector (65.0%) than those who worked 80% or more private (17.0 and 24.0%, respectively). Multivariate linear regressions of annual non-dentoalveolar surgical procedures per surgeon showed (P < 0.05) higher provision of implant (beta = 0.362), TMJ (beta = 0.267) and bone graft surgery (beta = 0.208) in 2000 compared to 1990, and higher provision of orthognathic (beta = 0.199), implant (beta = 0.194) and bone graft surgery (beta = 0.289) by dual qualified surgeons compared to those with only dental qualifications. Despite the mix of cases remaining predominantly dentoalveolar there was some change over time for selected non-dentoalveolar surgical procedures, with growth in the percentage of medically qualified surgeons and differences in surgery rates by qualification.
Brennan DS, Spencer AJ, Singh KA, Teusner DN, Goss AN.
Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2004 Sep;33(6):598-605