How to Influence Patient Oral Hygiene Behavior Effectively

Joshua Clarkson, Liza Young, Craig R Ramsay, B. C. Bonner, D. Bonetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Considerable resources are expended in dealing with dental disease easily prevented with better oral hygiene. The study hypothesis was that an evidence-based intervention, framed with psychological theory, would improve patients' oral hygiene behavior. The impact of trial methodology on trial outcomes was also explored by the conducting of two independent trials, one randomized by patient and one by dentist. The study included 87 dental practices and 778 patients (Patient RCT = 37 dentists/300 patients; Cluster RCT = 50 dentists/478 patients). Controlled for baseline differences, pooled results showed that patients who experienced the intervention had better behavioral (timing, duration, method), cognitive (confidence, planning), and clinical (plaque, gingival bleeding) outcomes. However, clinical outcomes were significantly better only in the Cluster RCT, suggesting that the impact of trial design on results needs to be further explored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)933-937
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009


  • psychological theory
  • oral health
  • intervention
  • RCT
  • contamination effects
  • implementation intentions
  • health-promotion


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