Prenatal counseling for pregnant women: a survey of general dentists

Fouad Salama, Amy Kebriaei, Kimberly McFarland, Timothy Durham
Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry 2010, 34 (4): 291-6

OBJECTIVE: To assess the attitudes, behavior, and demographics of general dentists in the state of Nebraska with regard to overall prenatal oral health counseling for pregnant women.

STUDY DESIGN: The survey asked for demographic information, number of years practicing dentistry, and patient base. The survey also asked questions about prenatal oral health counseling for pregnant women. A self-addressed stamped envelope was enclosed for dentists' returned responses.

RESULTS: Out of the 800 surveys sent, 371 (46.4%) were returned. Nearly 50% of general dentists in Nebraska who responded to the survey do not provide any prenatal counseling (45.6%) and 5.9% provide prenatal counseling only once a year. There were no correlations between providing prenatal counseling and age of general dentists, gender of general dentists, type of practice, and length of time in practice or additional training completed. When asked why they do not provide prenatal counseling, 19.7% say that it is not a priority for the office and 9.5% do not provide prenatal counseling because they are not reimbursed by a third party payer.

CONCLUSIONS: Fifty percent of general practitioners do provide prenatal counseling. The most common reason for not providing prenatal counseling was it is not a priority for the office and the parents are not interested.

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