Kinesiology & Health Sciences
Medical Reports and Case Studies
Journal Article URL
Background: Lack of adequate oral health has been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, and both the American Dental Association and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists advocate oral health care for women while pregnant, especially women served by health centers serving the underinsured and uninsured.
Objective: A Rural, Safety Net Clinic, which provides healthcare to medically underserved persons in the Williamsburg area of Virginia, began offering dental care to pregnant women accessing prenatal care from January 2015. We want to document the clinic’s experience with patient acceptance of the free dental care offered.
Methods: We reviewed data on the uptake of dental care from January 2015 to June 2018.
Results: In 2015, 22.9% of women referred had a dental procedure carried out and in 2016 and 2017, the percentages were 26.4% and 29.3% respectively. The percentage for the first half of 2018 was 32.1%. Their two main reasons for declining was having no dental health problems and having issues with transportation.
Conclusion: While the number of pregnant women accepting oral care is rising; less than a third of women in this vulnerable population accepted oral dental care while pregnant. We recommend further exploration of why uninsured and underinsured women decline dental care to determine how to effectively intervene with dental care for low income women to improve pregnancy outcomes.
Obasanjo, Iyabo and Mann, William, Assessing Patient Acceptance of Integrating Oral Care with Prenatal Care in a Safety Net Clinic (2019). Medical Reports and Case Studies, 4(1).