Attitudes toward and beliefs about the use of a dental diagnostic terminology: A survey of dental care providers in a dental practice

Rachel B. Ramoni, Muhammad F. Walji, Soyun Kim, Oluwabunmi Tokede, Lyle Mcclellan, Kristen Simmons, Eugene Skourtes, Alfa Yansane, Joel M. White, Elsbeth Kalenderian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract Background Attitudes and views are critical to the adoption of innovation. Although there have been broadening calls for a standardized dental diagnostic terminology, little is known about the views of private practice dental team members regarding the adoption of such a terminology. Methods The authors developed a survey by using validated questions identified through literature review. Domain experts' input allowed for further modifications. The authors administered the final survey electronically to 814 team members at a multioffice practice based in the US Pacific Northwest. Results Response proportion was 92%. The survey had excellent reliability (Cronbach α coefficient = 0.87). Results suggested that participants showed, in general, positive attitudes and beliefs about using a standardized diagnostic terminology in their practices. Additional written comments by participants highlighted the potential for improved communication with use of the terminology. Conclusions Dental care providers and staff in 1 multioffice practice showed positive attitudes about the use of a diagnostic terminology; specifically, they believed it would improve communication between the dentist and patient, as well as among providers, while expressing some concerns about whether using standardized dental diagnostic terms helps clinicians to deliver better dental care. Practical Implications As the dental profession is advancing toward the use of standardized diagnostic terminology, successful implementation will require that dental team leaders prepare their teams by gauging their attitude about the use of such a terminology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number94
Pages (from-to)390-397
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Dental Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Dentistry
  • International Classification of Diseases
  • Systematized Nomenclature of Dentistry
  • Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine
  • adoption
  • attitudes and beliefs
  • diagnostic terminology
  • electronic health record
  • innovation
  • leadership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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