Pediatricians and the Oral Health Needs of Children: One Potential Means for Reducing Oral Healthcare Inequities

Academic Article

Abstract

  • CONCLUSIONS: Expanding oral healthcare access through primary care physicians will require adequate training in medical school, residency, and in continuing education courses.OBJECTIVES: Children in poverty have limited access to oral healthcare. One approach to reduce such health inequities is to expand the involvement of primary care physicians in the provision of oral healthcare. The purpose of this study was to assess pediatricians' knowledge, attitudes, and professional experiences regarding oral health in children, and to determine their willingness to incorporate preventive dental education and procedures into their practices.METHODS: We conducted a survey of pediatricians in Tennessee to assess their knowledge, attitudes, and professional experiences regarding oral health, and to determine their willingness to incorporate preventive dental education and procedures into their practices.RESULTS: Of the 450 providers randomly selected for survey distribution, 107 returned completed surveys (response rate, 23.8%). The majority of respondents reported that they are likely to examine children's teeth during well-child care visits, but only a minority use preventive techniques such as application of fluoride varnish. Pediatricians receive very little education on oral health during medical school and residency programs.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Pubmed Id

  • 16304021
  • Author List

  • Roberts RZ; Erwin PCA
  • Volume

  • 95
  • Issue

  • 2