Dental care for pregnant patients: a survey to assess the current practices of Alabama dentists

Arealle E. Franklin, Suman Challa, Rochisha Singh Marwaha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A commitment on the part of dentists to provide dental care to pregnant patients may contribute to alleviating the burden of oral disease experienced in this population. To assess barriers to providing dental care for pregnant patients, a survey instrument was developed and distributed to 472 Alabama Academy of General Dentistry members. Descriptive analyses were conducted to assess dental care practices, self-reported competence, and barriers to providing dental care. Bivariate analyses were conducted to determine whether dentists with and without residency training displayed differences in self-reported competence and dental care practice models. A total of 82 dentists completed the survey, yielding a response rate of 17.3%. Of the respondents, 93.9% reported providing dental care to pregnant patients in the past year. Lack of education and/or training was the most frequently identified barrier (41.5%) to the provision of care. Statistically significant associations were found between self-reported competence and residency training (χ2 = 4; P = 0.034; Φ = 0.235). Residency training may influence dentists' self-reported competence in providing care to pregnant patients. Dentists who did not receive residency training appeared more likely to report competence in their ability to provide such care. Most respondents reported providing dental care to pregnant patients, but only 40.6% of the respondents to the 2015 Alabama Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) survey reported receiving a dental cleaning during pregnancy. Implementing systems to connect these patients with dentists may increase the receipt of care among this group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-21
Number of pages6
JournalGeneral dentistry
Volume70
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022

Keywords

  • dental care
  • pregnancy
  • prenatal care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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