How often is the pediatrician performing an oral health assessment on their patients?

Morof, Nicole, and Eptsam Ali





Objectives: The objective of this study was to assess how often the pediatrician is performing an oral health assessment on their patients and what factors limit the completion of an oral assessment by the pediatrician.  Methods: A survey was mailed out to 150 pediatricians practicing in the state of Michigan using a convenience sample method.  The survey consisted of 15 questions. Most of the questions dealt with the pediatrician’s feelings and attitudes surrounding the performance of oral health assessments on their patients.  Results: The survey return rate was 20.6%.  35% of respondents did not perform oral assessments on all of their patients.  45% of the respondents indicate that they do not have enough training to perform oral health assessments.  About 39% of respondents are facing time constraints that inhibit them from completing oral screening.  98% of respondents never apply fluoride varnish on their patients and 74% stated that they are uncomfortable doing it.  Conclusion: Pediatricians are not performing oral health assessments on all of their patients.  Time constraints makes it difficult for the pediatricians to make oral screenings part of their daily routine.  Pediatricians need more concise training and education in performing oral health assessments and the usage of oral prevention tools like fluoride varnish.