Conference Paper

Oral Health Care in the LGBT Population: Access, Perceptions, Barriers & Potential Solutions

To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.


Background: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) individuals in addition to having the same basic health care needs as the general population, face health disparities. Poor oral health leads to a multitude of negative effects in an individual’s quality of life. The literature on the oral health of sexual minority communities is sparse. Objectives: This study investigated access to dental care for LGBT people, the actual and perceived barriers for their dental care, and potential solutions to improve their access to dental care. Methods: The questionnaire was administered at five locations in North East Ohio to 355 subjects. Results: Among the participants, 315 (88.48%) self-identified as LGBT or other sexual minority status. The LGBT participants visited the dentist slightly more often (65.8% vs. 61.6%), than the general population. Nearly 8.0% of the study subjects had experienced discrimination in dental offices. Lack of finances was the primary barrier for not seeking dental care among LGBT. A majority of LGBT subjects preferred a dentist to be knowledgeable of STIs, HIV/AIDS, and to be trained in the needs of the LGBT community. Transgender subjects were especially vulnerable when compared to LGB: less dental visits and being discriminated by the dentist. Conclusion: Primary reason for the LGBT population not seeking dental care was financial. Study participants preferred a dentist to be an ally of the LGBT community. Efforts should be made to include LGBT cultural sensitivity and oral manifestations of STIs and HIV/AIDS in dental school curriculum.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the author.

... A 2014 survey of LGBTQ individuals showed that they frequent the dental office more than the general population. 18 These participants expressed the importance of dentists being knowledgeable about HIV/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and ...
Full-text available
Purpose: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) cultural competency and awareness in healthcare settings have been recognized for minimizing health disparities, yet their integration within the oral health community has been minimal. Furthermore, despite evidence showing the compatibility of rapid HIV testing (RHT) in the oral health setting, actual uptake by dentists has been limited. The purpose of this qualitative study was to document New York State dental directors' perspectives and attitudes regarding issues relevant to the LGBTQ patient care and RHT. Materials and methods: Semi-structured interviews (N=10) were conducted with New York State dental directors practicing in areas of high HIV prevalence. A deductive and inductive qualitative approach was used to develop an interview guide, in accordance with the Theory of Planned Behavior, that elicited their perspectives, attitudes, and perspectives on RHT and LGBTQ issues. Results: Thematic analysis of the interviews revealed that many dentists cited limited, if any, training and experience in RHT and LGBTQ patient care. Additionally, there was also an evident dichotomy between dentists who were offering RHT and dentists who were knowledgeable and well-versed in LGBTQ issues. Barriers to implementation included time constraints and minimal training and knowledge. Conclusions: While potential facilitators such as test kit reimbursement and patient referral sources could enable LGBTQ and RHT training and uptake, actual implementation in the oral health setting will likely require additional trainings, more involved collaboration with primary care providers, and an overall cultural change amongst the dental profession.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any references for this publication.