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Title: Perceptions of Zambian dentists and dental technicians in respect of dental technical services
Authors: Mukena, Martha Mutinta 
Issue Date: 2010
This study is an evaluation of the perceptions of Zambian dental technicians
and dentists of the dental technological services offered in Zambia. Zambia is
a small nation (land size of 752,614km²) with a population of approximately
11,000,000. Patients needing oral restorative treatment have two options
available to them; they seek treatment in state hospitals or through private
practices. Access to prosthetic treatment is difficult due to the difficulties
associated with obtaining treatment from the state as well as there being very
few privately owned dental laboratories. Dental technology in Zambia dates
back to 1964 and since its inception there has been no evaluation as to
whether the services offered are adequate and satisfactory.
The aim of this study was to;
 Provide insights into the understanding of dentists and technicians
regarding dental technical services.
 Provide insights into available dental technical services with the aim of
assisting in developing future guidelines for provision of such services
in Zambia.
 Identify national oral health objectives and make suggestions for the
improvement and development of the services in Zambia.
This aims of the research are relevant as the research was conducted at a
time when the nation is undergoing a general introspection of service delivery.
Data was collected through the medium of semi-structured personal
interviews with registered and practicing dentists and technicians in the main
cities of Zambia that include Lusaka, Ndola and Kitwe. Their views were
transcribed and coded according to significant themes that emerged for data
The results indicate that there is reason to be concerned about the general
quality of service delivery. In addition, the study showed that the working
relationships between technicians and dentists require improvement.
Moreover, the study established that Zambia has a critical shortage of skilled
technicians and particularly ceramic technicians and ceramic dental
laboratories. The data also revealed concerns that little attention by
government policymakers is being afforded to dental technical services whilst
attention is paid rather to clinical dental services. As a result, state owned
laboratories suffer from a lack of adequate and functioning equipment as well
as a lack of quality dental materials. Finally, the study showed that Zambia
has no clear direct oral health policies that govern the dental technical
Submitted in full compliance with the requirements for a Master's Degree in Technology: Dental Technology, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2010.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Health Sciences)

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