Knowledge, Attitude and Practices of Dentists about Oral Health Care during Pregnancy: A Cross-sectional Study from Turkey ZC08-ZC11
Dr. Muhittin Ugurlu,
Assistant Professor, Department of Restorative Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Süleyman Demirel University, Isparta-32260, Turkey.
Introduction: Oral hygiene care during pregnancy is critically substantial. Nevertheless, previous studies indicated that pregnant women uptake less oral health care during pregnancy. There are some reasons that hinder pregnant women receive oral health care. Additionally, dentists are hesitant to treat pregnant women for fear of causing harm to the mother and foetus. Studies have not reported the perception of dentists about oral health care during pregnancy in Turkey.
Aim: The aim of the study was to evaluate the knowledge, attitude and practices of dentists about oral health care during pregnancy.
Materials and Methods: A questionnaire was prepared by reviewing the literature regarding dental care during pregnancy. A total of 210 questionnaire were distributed to dentists in Isparta and Burdur, Turkey and 200 (95.2%) completed surveys were returned. Statistical analyses were performed by chi-square test.
Results: Most of the dentists were knowledgeable about oral health care during pregnancy but had limited knowledge about the safety of radiographs during this period and early childhood caries. Only 27.5% of the dentists were sure about radiographs could be securely taken during this period. Around 48% of the dentists believed that poor maternal oral health can contribute to early childhood decay. The majority of the dentists in this study knew that basic dental treatment is safe during pregnancy (84%) and were aware of the dental procedures that are safe to undertake during this period. The dentists were knowledgeable about the safety of using medications (51.5-100%). The dentists had rather positive attitude towards perinatal oral health (59.5-99.5%). Higher proportions of the dentists stated that they wanted further information about dental care during pregnancy (77%).
Conclusion: The findings from this survey suggest a large consensus among dentists in the management of pregnant women. Nevertheless, further research with more national sample is recommended to confirm these findings. Education programs and practice guidelines on perinatal oral health can be beneficial for dentists to provide dental care during pregnancy.