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Pain Research and Management
Volume 2018, Article ID 1563716, 8 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/1563716
Research Article

Dentists’ Awareness of Physical Therapy in the Treatment of Temporomandibular Disorders: A Preliminary Study

1Department of Physical Therapy, Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA
2Orthodontics Only Practice, Miami, FL, USA
3Rehabilitation Sciences Program, University of Nove de Julho, São Paulo, Brazil

Correspondence should be addressed to Inae C. Gadotti; ude.uif@ittodagi

Received 31 October 2017; Revised 30 November 2017; Accepted 18 December 2017; Published 28 February 2018

Academic Editor: Mieszko Wieckiewicz

Copyright © 2018 Inae C. Gadotti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. Physical therapy (PT) has been shown to be one of the most effective conservative treatments for temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Not all dentists are aware of the importance of the collaboration with physical therapists in the treatment of TMD pain. Objectives. To determine the awareness of dentists in Florida about the importance of PT for TMD pain and to create awareness related to collaborations. Methods. An online questionnaire was used. A contact list of dentists was obtained from the Florida Dental Association. The overall awareness and information on patient referral were presented per dentist specialty. Results. A total of 256 dentists completed the survey. Prior to the survey, 41% of the dentists reported not aware that PTs can treat TMD patients. Oral surgeons and orthodontists were more aware about PT compared to other specialties. After the survey, 81% of the dentists were more likely to refer their TMD patients to PT, and 80% were interested to know more about the benefits of collaborations. Conclusion. This study shows the lack of dentists’ awareness in Florida about the benefits of PT for TMD treatment. This study increased the awareness of the surveyed dentists in Florida about the benefit from a multidisciplinary approach.