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Purpose: This study investigated the use of digital technology in maxillofacial prosthetics among practitioners involved in maxillofacial prosthetic rehabilitation in Japan.
Materials and Methods: A self-administered survey questionnaire with 24 closed-ended and multiple choice questions was used. A total of 300 questionnaires were distributed at the 32nd meeting of the Japanese Academy of Maxillofacial Prosthetics that was held in Tokyo, Japan in June 2015. The survey questionnaire was distributed in a pack that included an introduction letter explaining the research aims, objectives, and informed consent. The data obtained were analyzed by descriptive statistical methods and reported as frequency and range.
Results: In total, 105 respondents (77 men (73.4%), 28 women (26.6%); median age, 40 years; age range 21-66 years) completed the questionnaire (response rate, 35%). The majority of respondents were dentists (75.2%), followed by dental technicians (21.9%). The median duration of work experience for the respondents in their specialty was 14 years, and 97% of respondents had interested and adopted digital technologies in maxillofacial prosthetics. Digital technologies were used significantly in patient and practice management, diagnostic, and patient’s defect visualization (p < 0.001) but insignificant in treatment planning (p = 0.917). In contrast, there were significant increases in non-use of digital technologies in prosthesis design, prosthesis manufacturing, and patient and prosthesis evaluation (p < 0.001).
Conclusion: Japanese dental practitioners are interested and willing to use digital technology in maxillofacial prosthetics. Most respondents use some or a substantial number of digital technologies in clinical practice. (Int J Maxillofac Prosthetics 2021;4:25-36)