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Spec Care Dentist. 2011 Sep-Oct;31(5):170-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1754-4505.2011.00204.x.

Parents' perspectives on a dental home for children with special health care needs.

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Department of Dental Practice, University of Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, Union City Dental Care Center, Union City, California, USA.


The authors surveyed parent-leaders about aspects of a dental home for children with special health care needs (CSHCN). State leaders in two advocacy groups completed the survey; the response rate was 70.6% of all states. Two of the most highly rated aspects of a dental home, endorsed as "essential" by 89% of respondents, pertained to dentist-parent interactions: the dentist listens carefully to the family, and the dentist helps the family feel like a partner in treatment decisions. Likewise, 89% said it was essential that insurance coverage allows the child to see needed providers. Dentists' lack of knowledge or willingness to treat CSHCN and refusal of Medicaid insurance coverage were identified as major barriers to care. More than 84% of respondents reported that parents were unaware of the recommendation to establish dental care by 1 year of age. Establishing policy and educational strategies should help parents meet this dental health goal.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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