Pregnancy and Oral Health

Dental Visits During Pregnancy – FQHCs

Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) may be well positioned to facilitate dental visits during pregnancy for low-income women. We sought to compare receipt of dental visits during pregnancy for women who received prenatal care at an FQHC versus a non-FQHC setting.

TAKE-HOME MESSAGE

  • This study compared the number of dental visits during pregnancy by women who received prenatal care at a federally qualified health center (FQHC) versus a non-FQHC center. Mothers who visited an FQHC for prenatal care had more dental visits during pregnancy than those who visited a non-FQHC center. The strongest predictors of having a dental visit during pregnancy were having the FQHC as the predominant prenatal care setting, a dental emergency during pregnancy, three or more prenatal visits, and Medicaid coverage for all 9 months of pregnancy.
  • Separate delivery systems for oral health and medical care present a challenge to increased dental care during pregnancy. Although receiving prenatal care at an FQHC is associated with a greater likelihood of having a dental visit during pregnancy, co-location of services is insufficient to ensure that pregnant women receive the recommended dental care.

–  Laurie C. Carter, DDS, PhD

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