[Perception of maxillofacial surgery and stomatology in France].
ABSTRACT The authors wanted to know how stomatology and maxillofacial surgery were perceived by general practitioners, dentists, and the patients. A study was made on the model of two studies made in 1994 and 2005 in Great Britain and one in 1996 in the United States.
Four thousand and one hundred and fifty questionnaires were mailed. Six hundred and ninety-three to general practitioners, 690 to dental practitioners, and 2770 to the public. Practitioners were chosen randomly, in equal number in each of 22 administrative regions of metropolitan France.
One hundred and fifteen physicians answered (16.6%), 130 dentists answered (18.8%). The practitioners sent back 180 questionnaires completed by their patients (6.5%). These results, higher than the ones reported in the above-mentioned studies, allowed determining the perception of maxillofacial surgery and stomatology in France. This study showed that we are, in the eye of the public, specialists of temporomandibular joint disorders, fractures of the face, but also of orthognatic surgery, cleft lip and palate, cancer of the oral cavity, and implantology. This study also showed that maxillofacial surgeons are the major referents for odontologists whereas they remained less acknowledged by general practitioners.
The maxillofacial surgeon is in France the main correspondent of odontologists; he still has to convince general practitioners and the global population to be acknowledged as the surgeon of the "face". Our results correlate to published international data.