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Vilija Janulyte, Jolanta Aleksejuniene, Alina Puriene, Vytaute Peciuliene and Habib Benzian contributed equally to this work.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
VJ designed the questionnaire, carried out the survey, and drafted the initial manuscript. JA performed the statistical analysis and helped to draft the manuscript. AP conceived the study, participated in its design and coordination, and in composing the questionnaire. VP participated in the study design, helped to compose the questionnaire, and to draft the manuscript. HB helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
The present survey explored the current employment profile and future career intentions of Lithuanian general dentists and specialists.
A census sampling method was employed with data collected by means of a structured questionnaire that inquired about demographics, different employment-related aspects (practice type and location, working hours, perceived lack of patients, etc.), and future career intentions (intent to emigrate, to change profession, or the timing of retirement). The final response rate was 67.6% corresponding to 2,008 respondents.
The majority of all dentists work full or part-time in the private dental sector, more than one third of them owns a private practice or rents a dental chair. A minority of dentists works in the public dental sector. According to the survey, 26.6% of general dentists and 39.2% of dental specialists works overtime (>40 hours per week; P <0.001) and practice in multiple clinics (1.4 ± 0.6 and 2.0 ± 1.2, respectively; P <0.001). One third of general dentists (31.3%) and dental specialists (31.4%) stated to have a low number of patients (P >0.05). The majority (68.9% of general dentists and 65.9% of dental specialists) plans to work after the retirement age (P >0.05). Emigration as an option for their professional career is being considered by 10.8% of general dentists and 8.3% of dental specialists (P >0.05). Working either full or part-time in private practices (OR = 4.3) and younger age (≤35 years; OR = 2.2) are the two strongest predictors for a perceived insufficient number of patients.
One third of dentists in Lithuania work long hours and lack patients. Many dentists practice in multiple locations and plan to retire after the official retirement age. Some dentists and dental specialists plan to emigrate. The perceived shortcomings within the dental care system and workforce planning of dentists need to be addressed.