Outcome of three screening questions for temporomandibular disorders (3Q/TMD) on clinical decision-making

A. Lövgren, S. Marklund, C.M. Visscher, F. Lobbezoo, B. Häggman-Henrikson, A. Wänman

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Patients with temporomandibular disorders (TMD) seem to go undetected and not adequately managed within dentistry. To identify these patients, three screening questions (3Q/TMD) have been introduced within dentistry in parts of Sweden. It is not known whether 3Q/TMD affects the clinical decision-making for these patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the outcome of 3Q/TMD on the clinical decision-making and to analyse whether gender, age and the fee system the individual was assigned to were related to prescribed TMD treatment. This cohort study was carried out within the Public Dental Health service in Västerbotten, Sweden. As part of the routine dental check-up, a health declaration including 3Q/TMD was completed. The study population was randomly selected based on their 3Q/TMD answers. In total, 300 individuals with an affirmative answer to any of the 3Q/TMD, and 500 individuals with all negative answers were selected. The 3Q/TMD includes questions on weekly jaw-face-temple pain (Q1), pain on function (Q2) and catching/locking of the jaw (Q3). The 3Q/TMD was analysed in relation to prescribed treatment assessed from dental records. There was significantly more treatment performed or recommended for 3Q-positives (21·5%), compared to 3Q-negatives (2·2%) (P < 0·001). The odds ratio for TMD-related treatment for 3Q-positives versus 3Q-negatives was 12·1 (95% CI: 6·3-23·4). Although affirmative answers to the 3Q/TMD was related to TMD treatment, the majority of individuals with a screen positive still did not, according to dental records, receive assessment or treatment. Further studies are needed to better understand the clinical decision-making process for patients with TMD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-579
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Oral Rehabilitation
Issue number8
Early online date27 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


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