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J Am Dent Assoc. 2013 Jun;144(6):645-53.

Ohio dentists' awareness and incorporation of the dental home concept.

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College of Dentistry, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.



The authors measured the awareness of the dental home concept among pediatric dentists (PDs) and general practice dentists (GPs) in Ohio and determined whether they included dental home characteristics for children 5 years and younger into their practices.


The authors sent a pretested 20-question survey to all Ohio PDs and to a random sample of approximately 20 percent of GPs in Ohio. The authors designed the survey to elicit information about dental home awareness and the extent to which dental home characteristics were incorporated into dental practices.


More than 90 percent of both GPs and PDs incorporated or intended to incorporate into their dental practices the specific dental home characteristics mentioned in 20 of 41 items related to dental home characteristics. Of the respondents who did not already incorporate dental home characteristics into their practices, however, most did not intend to do so. Less than 50 percent of respondents in both groups responded positively to some items in the culturally effective group, and GPs were less likely than were PDs to provide a range of behavior management services and to provide treatment for patients with complex medical and dental treatment needs. PDs were more likely than were GPs to accept Ohio Medicaid (64 versus 33 percent). PDs were more likely than were GPs (78 versus 18 percent) to be familiar with the term "dental home." More recent dental school graduates were more familiar with the term.


Most Ohio PDs' and GPs' practices included characteristics found in the definition of dental home, despite a general lack of concept awareness on the part of GPs. Research is needed to provide an evidence base for the dental home. Practical Implications. Once an evidence base is developed for the important aspects of the dental home and the definition is revised, efforts should be made to incorporate these aspects more broadly into dental practice.


Dental home; dental care for children; patient care team

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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