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Pediatr Dent. 2008 Mar-Apr;30(2):147-53.

Infant oral health care: a survey of general dentists, pediatric dentists, and pediatricians in Virginia.

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Department of Pediatric Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA.



This study's purpose was to examine the current knowledge, attitudes, and experiences related to infant oral health for dental and medical providers in Virginia.


A survey of infant oral health care was sent to: (a) 300 randomly selected general dentists; (b) 300 randomly selected pediatricians; and (c) all pediatric dentists in Virginia. Survey respondents were tabulated, and percent frequency distributions for responses to each item were computed.


The surveys return rate was 48%. A total of 100% of pediatric dentists treated infants and were more likely to recommend that children be seen by age 1 (P < .001). All pediatricians treated infants as well, while only 5% referred for the first dental visit by 1 year of age. Forty-five percent of general dentists surveyed treated infants, and only 12% referred for the first dental visit by 1 year of age. The logistic regression results indicated that there were differences between practitioner type regarding the recommended age of the first dental visit and years in practice.


The majority of pediatricians and general dentists are not advising patients to see the dentist by 1 year of age. There is a need for increased infant oral health care education in the medical and dental communities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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