Association between dentists' participation in charitable care and community-based dental education.
The Institute of Medicine and the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) have recommended that dental schools incorporate community-based dental education (CBDE) programs into their curricula. The expectation is that CBDE participation will help dental students gain the skills and motivation to treat vulnerable populations after graduation. The purpose of this study was to determine whether dentists' involvement with charitable dental care is associated with participation in CBDE as dental students. A questionnaire was mailed to private practice Iowa dentists (N=1,312); the response rate was 41.2 percent (n=541). Logistic regression analyses, controlling for age, gender, number of hours worked per week, graduation year, and alma mater, were conducted. A majority of the respondents provided charitable care: 85 percent in their offices, and 70 percent in the community. Seventy-nine percent had participated in CBDE as dental students. Respondents who reported being very satisfied/satisfied with their charitable care experiences were more likely to provide charitable care in their offices and the community than respondents who were not satisfied with their experiences. Respondents who participated in CBDE as dental students were more likely to provide charitable care in the community than respondents who did not participate in CBDE. The type of sites where dentists completed their CBDE experiences was associated with where they provide charitable care. This study suggests that participation in CBDE may be associated with dental students' providing charitable dental care after graduation.