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Survey of Dental Practice (SDP)


The Survey of Dental Practice is a series of annual reports on private dentistry in U.S. Based on a random sample of active, private practitioners; the reports are valuable in gauging the economic health of the profession. All data are collected and analyzed on a national level with regional breakdowns where available. The 2010 Survey of Dental Practice is the 41st in a series of reports that date back to 1950. The series “was conceived as a result of an urgent need for information about dental practice.” The Survey of Dental Practice is a House of Delegates mandated survey and has been conducted annually since 1982 as a partial response to Resolution 124H-1981 (Trans, 1981:571). It is the principal means by which the American Dental Association (ADA) collects the most comprehensive and reliable statistical information on the private practice of dentistry in the United States. The 2010 Survey of Dental Practice collected information about private practice dentistry in 2009. Private practitioners answered the questions using information from the previous year of operation, not 2010.


American Dental Association (ADA)

Data Years Available

2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017




Sample survey: Mailed questionnaire

Selected Content

From the 2010 American Dental Association’s Survey of Dental Practice Please use the following rating scale to answer the following question: 1= Always, 2= Usually, 3= Sometimes, 4= Rarely, 5= Never. During the past week, how often did you or your dental team personally ask patients if they use tobacco? During the past week, how often did you or your dental team personally counsel patients who use tobacco on tobacco cessation?

Population covered

Dentists in the US.


• Data were collected from the ADA’s 2010 annual Survey of Dental Practice, using a randomized sample of currently practicing US dentists: – In 2010, 4725 general practitioners (GPs), 9884 specialists (over-sampled). • Responses were dichotomized by always/usually vs. sometimes/rarely/no. • Estimates for screening and counseling were weighted to account for oversampling of specialists.

Response rate and sample size

1495 general dentists returned the survey out of 4725 mailed the survey for a response rate of 31.6% (this is the unit response rate or overall specific to general dentists). 1035 and 1036 general practice dentists responded to the questions about screening. , respectively. Of the full sample, the item response rate was 21.9% for both questions (1035/4725) and 1036/4725). Among the 1495 general practice dentists who returned the survey, the item response rates were 69.2% and 69.3%, respectively. (1035/1495). and 1036/1495) The overall crude and adjusted response rates for the survey in 2010 were 27.3% and 29.2% accordingly.

Interpretation Issues