Dentists’ opinions on using digital technologies in dental practice

M.M. van der Zande, R.C. Gorter, J.J.M. Bruers, I.H.A. Aartman, D. Wismeijer

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives: To investigate which opinions among dentists are associated with level of technology use, when characteristics of the dentist and dental practice, as well as motivating work aspects are taken into account.
Methods: A total of 1000 general dental practitioners in the Netherlands received a questionnaire on digital technologies they use, opinions on using technologies and related motivating work aspects. Questions were derived from expert interviews, the Dentists’ Experienced Job Resources Scale and literature on technology implementation. Technology use was measured as the number of technologies used, and divided into three technology user groups: low (using 0-4 technologies, mostly administrative and radiographic technologies), intermediate (using 5-7, more varied technologies) and high technology users (using 8-12, including more innovative diagnostic technologies). Opinions on technology use and motivating work aspects were analysed using principal components analysis (PCA) and exploratory factor analysis. Scores on all components and factors were calculated for each respondent by computing the mean of all valid responses on the underlying items. Differences in these scale scores on opinions among the technology user groups were assessed using one-way analysis of variance and Kruskal–Wallis tests. A multiple linear regression analysis assessed the association of scale scores about opinions on technology use with the sum of technologies used, taking into account motivating work aspects and characteristics of the dentist and dental practice.
Results: The response rate was 31%. Dentists who were high technology users perceived technologies as yielding more improvements in quality of care, adding more value to the dental practice and being easier to use, than low technology users. High technology users thought technologies added more value to their work and they reported higher skills and resources. They also focused more on technologies and thought these are more ready to use than low technology users. High technology users derived more motivation from “Immediate results” and “Craftsmanship” than low technology users. Personal and practice characteristics, motivating work aspects, and the opinion scales “Focus” and “Added value to dentist” explained 50% of the variance in the number of technologies a dentist uses.
Conclusion: Opinions on digital technologies among dentists and motivating work aspects vary with level of technology use. Being more focused on technologies and perceiving a higher added value from using them are associated with using more digital dental technologies, when taking into account motivating work aspects and characteristics of the dentist and dental practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-153
JournalCommunity Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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