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Dental Visits during Pregnancy: Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System Analysis 2012–2015

Cited 12 time in Web of Science Cited 14 time in Scopus

Lee, H.; Tranby, E.; Shi, L.

Issue Date
SAGE Publications Ltd
JDR Clinical and Translational Research, Vol.7 No.4, pp.379-388
Objectives: This study aimed to update dental service utilization during pregnancy and to evaluate whether there are persistent disparities in dental care during pregnancy by race/ethnicity and Medicaid status. Methods: This retrospective secondary data analysis examined dental service utilization during and prior to pregnancy and met dental or oral health needs using the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) data sets on 75,876 women between 2012 and 2015. Results: Only about half of the women (51.7%) reported that they had at least 1 dental visit for cleaning during their most recent pregnancy. One of 5 women (19.7%) experienced dental problems during pregnancy, and 34.4% of these women did not visit dentists to address the problems. Non-Hispanic Black women had 14% lower odds of visiting dentists for cleaning during pregnancy compared to non-Hispanic White women (odds ratio [OR], 0.86; 95% CI confidence interval [CI], 0.80–0.92). There was no difference in dental visits prior to pregnancy between non-Hispanic Black and White women. Women enrolled in Medicaid showed significantly lower odds of visiting dentists for cleaning during pregnancy compared to women covered by private health insurance (OR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.52–0.58). Conclusion for Practice: Oral health, as an integral part of primary care, needs to be included in the standard prenatal care through oral health education and timely dental care during pregnancy. With mounting evidence of persisting disparities in dental service utilization during pregnancy, both public and private prenatal programs and policies should address specific barriers in accessing and using dental care during pregnancy, especially for women from socially disadvantaged backgrounds. Knowledge Transfer Statement: The current study updated the previous findings with more recent multiyear PRAMS data (2012–2015) and found the Black-White disparity and disparity among Medicaid-enrolled women in visiting dentists during pregnancy persist. The results of this study can be used by policymakers and practitioners to integrate oral health into prenatal care for pregnant women from marginalized backgrounds to achieve oral health parity.
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  • School of Dentistry
  • Department of Dentistry
Research Area Health Care Sciences & Services, Oral Surgery & Medicine, Public, Environmental & Occupational Health


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