Journal of Interdisciplinary Dentistry

: 2014  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 76--80

Public knowledge and acceptance of dental implant treatment in Malaysian Population

Shivani Kohli1, Shekhar Bhatia2, Arvinder Kaur3, Tiviya Rathakrishnan3,  
1 Department of Prosthodontics, MAHSA University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2 Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, MAHSA University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
3 MAHSA University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Correspondence Address:
Shivani Kohli
Department of Prosthodontics, MAHSA University, Kuala Lumpur


Aims: Due to the high success rates and predictability of dental implants, their usage in the rehabilitation of partially dentate and edentulous patients is increasing year by years. The aim of the survey was to assess the patient awareness, source of information and acceptance of dental implants as a treatment modality for replacement of missing teeth among the Malaysian population. Materials and Methods: A nationwide survey was conducted among the patients visiting various dental outpatient departments of hospital and private dental clinics using a self-explanatory questionnaire. The questionnaires were prepared in English and Malay language to enable better understanding and completion. Results: Among the 1013 response retrieved, 772 were aware of dental implant treatment. Among the 81% of the respondents who knew dental implants can be used to replace missing teeth, 19.5% opted not to receive dental implant treatment. About 81.8% of the respondents expressed that dental implant treatment was unaffordable. The cost and associated surgery was a major disadvantage and deterrent to this modality. The dentists were the main source of information regarding the dental implant treatment modality, followed by friends and electronic media. Conclusion: The survey concluded that 76.2% of the Malaysian population was aware of dental implant treatment in Malaysia, mainly from dentists. Having dental insurance would most definitely raise the willingness of respondents for receiving dental implant treatment. Clinical Relevance to Interdisciplinary Dentistry
  • The practice of implant dentistry requires an interdisciplinary approach that integrates the knowledge, skills and experience of different disciplines of dentistry comprising of prosthodontics, periodontology and oral surgery into a comprehensive treatment plan.
  • Interdisciplinary therapy is the best way to consider all factors for a successful outcome and to avoid complications in implant dentistry.

How to cite this article:
Kohli S, Bhatia S, Kaur A, Rathakrishnan T. Public knowledge and acceptance of dental implant treatment in Malaysian Population.J Interdiscip Dentistry 2014;4:76-80

How to cite this URL:
Kohli S, Bhatia S, Kaur A, Rathakrishnan T. Public knowledge and acceptance of dental implant treatment in Malaysian Population. J Interdiscip Dentistry [serial online] 2014 [cited 2021 Oct 19 ];4:76-80
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Full Text


Implant dentistry has become increasingly important in oral reconstruction since the intra-oral use of titanium implants was suggested in the late 1950s. [1],[2] The majority of patients treated with implant-supported prosthesis have reported improvement in their quality of life and self-confidence. [3] Advantages of implant-supported restorations include psychological benefits and tooth structure conservation adjacent to the teeth to be replaced. [4] Due to high success rates and predictability of dental implants, the prevalence of dental implant therapy in partially dentate and edentulous patients is increasing year by year. [5]

According to Narby et al., a previous study conducted based on two questionnaires, in Sweden, there was, over the course of a decade, a dramatic escalation in interest of implant treatment. At the time of the second survey (1999), 95% of participants expressed a desire for implant treatment in comparison with 32% in the first survey (1989). [6],[7]

For professionals, it is vital to assess their level of knowledge with regards to dental implants and whether their perception of dental implants does in fact reflect reality. [8],[9],[10]

Replacement of missing or lost teeth with dental prostheses supported by implants has been accepted and rated as a positive experience by patients who have undergone implant treatment. [9],[11] Many studies have been carried out in different parts of the world with regards to the awareness of dental implants as a treatment option. The overwhelming majority of patients with severely compromised local host bone can be offered implant-supported rehabilitation with a very good prognosis. [2],[9],[12],[13],[14],[15],[16],[17]

A nationwide survey from a representative sample of the general Malaysian population is therefore needed to assess public awareness and understanding of oral implants as a treatment option.

Aims and objectives

To evaluate the level of knowledge amongst the populations with regards to dental implants

To evaluate the sources of information regarding dental implant treatment

To evaluate the level of acceptance of dental implants as a treatment option compared to other conventional treatment modalities.


The survey was conducted through printed and online questionnaire composing of six questions with the intention of evaluating dental implant awareness among the Malaysian population in 2012 (May to December). A random sampling method with convenient sample size was used. Questionnaire was prepared both in English and Bahasa Malaysia (local language) to enable completion and to improve the respondents' understanding of the questions.

Most of the hospitals with a dental outpatient department and private dental clinics were included in the study. The questionnaires were handed to the patients during their regular dental visits. All the respondents were informed about the aims and objectives of the study. Those who were not willing to give informed consent were excluded from the study. Hence, out of 1500, only 1013 respondents agreed to participate in the survey with the nonresponse rate 32.46%.

For the purpose of the study, the Malaysian population was grouped according to:

Gender: Male/female


20 years and below

21-40 years

41-60 years

41-80 years

81 years and above.


Up to high school

Up to college

Up to university and above.

[Figure 1] depicts the survey form which included self-explanatory questions which were in correspondence to previous studies conducted Chowdhary et al. [9] and Berge. [18]{Figure 1}


Based on the 1013 responses retrieved, 772 (76.2%) respondents were aware of dental implants treatment in Malaysia. Non response rate of the survey was 487 (32.46%). [Table 1] depicts the characteristics of respondents who have heard of dental implants based on their gender, age and education levels. Respondents with age group of 21-40 years were most well-informed regarding dental implants.{Table 1}

Alternatives for replacing missing teeth

Among the 1013 respondents, most were aware of complete dentures (59%), followed closely by implant-supported denture (56%) and partial dentures (55%) as an alternative for the replacement of missing teeth. 113 respondents were not aware of any alternatives given [Table 2] and [Figure 2].{Table 2}{Figure 2}

Source of information regarding dental implants

Among the 772 respondents who were aware of dental implants, most stated their dentist (53.6%), followed by friend, relatives, internet, magazine and newspapers as the various source of information regarding dental implants [Table 3] and [Figure 3].{Table 3}{Figure 3}

Willingness to consider dental implant treatment if needed

About 80.5% of the respondents were willing to consider dental implant treatment if needed whereas 19.5% refused for it as shown in [Table 4].{Table 4}

Reasons for refusing implant treatment

Most respondents' stated high costs (81.8%), followed by need of surgery and inadequate knowledge as the main limitations of dental implant treatment and the major reasons for refusing such treatment options [Table 5].{Table 5}

Dental insurance

Among the 1013 respondents, 821 (81%) thought that dental insurance coverage was needed in the country for dental implant treatment as the cost of the treatment is high, whereas 19% did not support insurance coverage [Table 6].{Table 6}


Among the 1013 respondents, only 772 people (76.2%) had heard of dental implants in Malaysia. This is a slightly higher finding than a study done in a Norwegian population [18] that showed 70% of respondents had heard of dental implants. Majority of those who had heard of dental implants were among the

21-40 year's age group (54.5%). This can be attributed to the increased interest in dental treatment among the younger generation and changing attitudes towards the advancements in medical and dental technology. [9] Factors such as high level of education coupled with a reasonably higher income and age can influence the findings of this research. The Norwegian study that claimed people of ages 45 and above with a high level of education were well informed about dental implants, which is concurrent with the findings of Chowdhary et al., [9] that stated respondents in the age groups of 25-44 with a college or university education were more aware of dental implants.

Regarding the sources of information, 53.6% stated their dentist as their source of hearing about dental implants followed by relatives and friends, internet, someone who has received an implant, newspapers or magazines. This is in agreement with Pommer et al., [1] Chowdhary et al., [9] Satpathy et al. [16],[19] Mukatash et al. [20] and Ravi Kumar et al. [21] all of which stated dentists as the main source of information. This finding is contrary to that reported by a study done in the USA, stating media as the main source. [18],[22] Thus, it is important to promote dental implant treatment, most importantly by means of effective communication between patients and their dentists and other options such as highlighting the usage of dental implants in health related articles in newspapers or health magazines. [23]

Among the respondents who were aware of implants as a treatment modality for missing teeth, 19% refused for implant treatment if needed. Among them, 81.8% stated high costs as a limiting factor for dental implant treatment. This is in accordance to Zimmer et al. [10] and a Japanese study by Akagawa et al., [24] all of which showed that the most serious hindrance factor for obtaining dental implant treatment by patients is the high cost. Thus, having dental insurance in Malaysia would most definitely raise the willingness of respondents for receiving dental implant treatment.

Eighty-one percent of respondents agreed for the need of insurance coverage for dental implants, whereas 19% do not agree to it. This is in accordance to Chowdhary et al. [9] in which 96.23% were in favor of dental insurance. More were in favor after learning that the cost of treatment is high.


Within the limitations of this study, it can be concluded that 76.2% of the population have heard of dental implant treatment in Malaysia. This survey among patients attending dental hospitals and private dental clinics showed that the many of the patients were unaware about using dental implants as an option for replacing missing teeth. Dentists were the main sources of information regarding dental implants amongst the people. This clearly indicates the lack of efforts by dentists and the governing bodies regarding taking necessary steps for creating awareness amongst the people. The high cost of the implants is one of the major limiting factors working against the willingness of patients to undergo this treatment. It also shows that most patients found dental implants treatment to be expensive and unaffordable, but they were interested to know more about dental implants. Besides this, efforts should be made to reduce the cost of dental implants to a more affordable rate. The survey underlines the need for providing correct information through various means to the patients to improve awareness about this treatment modality.


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