Providing dental care to pregnant patients: A survey of Oregon general dentists
ABSTRACT A growing number of studies and reports indicate preventive, routine and emergency dental procedures can be provided safely to pregnant patients to alleviate dental problems and promote oral health of mothers and children.
In 2006 and 2007, the authors conducted a survey of 1,604 general dentists in Oregon. The survey asked dentists about their attitudes, beliefs and practices regarding dental care for pregnant patients. The authors compared the responses with 2006 guidelines from a New York State Department of Health expert panel.
The response rate was 55.2 percent. Most respondents (91.7 percent) agreed that dental treatment should be part of prenatal care. Two-thirds of respondents (67.7 percent) were interested in receiving continuing dental education (CDE) regarding the care of pregnant patients. Comparisons of self-reported knowledge and practice with the aforementioned guidelines revealed several points of difference; the greatest regarded obtaining full-mouth radiographs, providing nitrous oxide, administering long-acting anesthetic injections and use of over-the-counter pain medications.
Dentists need pregnancy-specific education to provide up-to-date preventive and curative care to pregnant patients. The results of the study identified specific skills and misinformation that could be addressed through CDE.
Comprehensive dental care provided during pregnancy is needed to ensure the oral health of all women at risk of experiencing pregnancy-specific problems, as well as the prevention of early childhood caries.
- SourceAvailable from: Colleen Huebner
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- "Dental care providers also create barriers to care. A survey of general dentists in Oregon conducted by Huebner and colleagues (Huebner et al., 2009) found 71%of dentists reported low compensation by insurance plans was a barrier to providing counseling to pregnant patients; 11% said they were " too busy " to add counseling about oral health care for pregnant patients to their practices. A study of obstetrician gynecologists found 77% reported their pregnant women were " declined " treatment by dentists (Morgan, et al., 2009). "
ABSTRACT: The purpose of the study was to understand US dentists' attitudes, knowledge, and practices regarding dental care for pregnant women and to determine the impact of recent papers on oral health and pregnancy and guidelines disseminated widely. In 2006 and 2007, the investigators conducted a mailed survey of all 1,604 general dentists in Oregon; 55.2% responded). Structural equation modeling was used to estimate associations between dentists' attitudes toward providing care to pregnant women, dentists' knowledge about the safety of dental procedures, and dentists' current practice patterns. Dentist's perceived barriers have the strongest direct effect on current practice and might be the most important factor deterring dentists from providing care to pregnant patients. Five attitudes (perceived barriers) were associated with providing less dental services: time, economic, skills, dental staff resistance, and peer pressure. The final model shows a good fit with a chi-square of 38.286 (p = .12; n = 772; df = 52) and a Bentler-Bonett normed fit index of .98 and a comparative fit index of .993. The root mean square error of approximation is .02. Findings suggest that attitudes are significant determinants of accurate knowledge and current practice. Multidimensional approaches are needed to increase access to dental care and protect the oral health of women during pregnancy. Despite current clinical recommendations to deliver all necessary care to pregnant patients during the first, second, and third trimesters, dentists' knowledge of the appropriateness of procedures continues to lag the state of the art in dental science.Women s Health Issues 09/2010; 20(5):359-65. DOI:10.1016/j.whi.2010.05.007 · 1.61 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A community-based public health program to provide a dental home for women covered by the Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid) in Klamath County, Oregon USA was instituted with the long-term goal to promote preventive oral care for both mothers and their new infants provided by dental managed care companies. As part of the evaluation of the program, children in Klamath and comparable non-program counties were examined in their 2nd year of life to begin to determine if benefits accrued to the offspring of the mothers in Klamath County. Eighty-five and 58.9% of the children were caries free in the Klamath and comparison county samples, respectively (RR = 1.48, 95% CI 1.13, 1.93). The mean (SD) number of teeth with any decay was .75 (2.5) in the test population and 1.6 (2.5) in the comparison population (t = 2.08, p = .04). The assessment showed that children of mothers in the Klamath County program were about one and a half times more likely to be caries free than children in the comparison counties. Additional controlled studies are being undertaken.BMC Public Health 02/2010; 10(1):76. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-10-76 · 2.32 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The authors conducted a study of dental services used by women of childbearing age who were enrolled in Medicaid in Oregon during the early 2000s, a period of reform during which health care coverage was expanded. They compared claims for pregnant women, women who were not pregnant and had children and women who were not pregnant and did not have children. They also compared differences in claims between those for women enrolled in managed care and those for women enrolled in fee-for-service plans. The authors computed the proportion of women for whom a dental claim was submitted in six-month spans for 2000, 2001, 2002 (before reform) and 2005 (after reform). Before and after reforms, the mean utilization rate for pregnant women, adjusted for the proportion of the period covered, decreased from 0.36 (standard deviation [SD] = 0.025) to 0.22 (SD = 0.028). Among women who were not pregnant and had children, the average adjusted rates decreased from 0.49 (SD = 0.201) to 0.21 (SD = 0.078). The pattern was similar among women who had no dependent children: rates decreased from 0.50 (SD = 0.028) to 0.19 (SD = 0.078). Most of the claims were for diagnostic services. The authors found no differences between women enrolled in managed care and those enrolled in fee-for-service plans. Contrary to their intention, health care reforms in Oregon were detrimental to the vulnerable populations that Medicaid is intended to serve. Dental care is important for maternal and child health. However, utilization is unlikely to improve without changes in Medicaid and the dental care delivery system.Journal of the American Dental Association (1939) 06/2010; 141(6):688-95. DOI:10.14219/jada.archive.2010.0259 · 2.24 Impact Factor