Prosthodontics and the patient: what is oral rehabilitation need? Conceptual analysis of need and demand for prosthodontic treatment. Part 1: a conceptual analysis.

The International journal of prosthodontics

PubMedID: 15754898

Narby B, Kronström M, Söderfeldt B, Palmqvist S. Prosthodontics and the patient: what is oral rehabilitation need? Conceptual analysis of need and demand for prosthodontic treatment. Part 1: a conceptual analysis. Int J Prosthodont. 2005;18(1):75-9.
PURPOSE
The concepts of need and demand are central in studies on dental care. In the literature, a normative definition is often used, but it pays little attention to the individual's personal comfort and quality of life. Need and demand for prosthodontic services are difficult to measure, as prosthodontic treatment is highly individual and not closely related to edentulousness. Need, however defined, does not always lead to demand for treatment, depending on a variety of factors.

MATERIALS AND METHODS
The present article is part of a larger study in which the intention is to evaluate need and demand for prosthodontic treatment among the participants in a 1989 and 1999 longitudinal study of a population sample. As the first step, this article reports a conceptual analysis of the need concept from the literature.

RESULTS
Need is stated as socially established in the interaction between patient and clinician. It makes demand dependent on available treatment options from the care provider and society. In the prosthetic treatment decision-making process, the emancipatory perspective with the patient-clinician dialogue is of utmost importance to achieve an optimal treatment result.

CONCLUSION
The professional attitude toward need must be that there is no true objective or subjective need. Need is established only in a communicative dialogue with mutual respect between the professional and the patient.