What Factors Influence Dental Faculty’s Willingness to Treat Pregnant Women?

S. S. Huang, C. Yang, V. Cohen, S. L. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Despite evidence-based guidelines advocating for the provision of oral health care throughout pregnancy, dentists remain hesitant to provide dental treatment for pregnant women. However, little is known about attitudes toward treating pregnant women among dental school faculty, who may transmit their attitudes and treatment preferences to their students. Methods: We collected cross-sectional survey data at the New York University College of Dentistry, which produces 10% of all US dentists and is the largest US dental school, to understand faculty attitudes and knowledge regarding providing dental treatment to pregnant women. This study was part of an educational effort to improve dental care access by pregnant women and to examine what factors influence willingness to treat pregnant patients among dental faculty members. Results: We found that concerns about professional liability outweighed inadequate knowledge regarding treatment of pregnant patients in determining dental faculty’s willingness to treat pregnant women. Conclusions: Educational interventions delivered to dental faculty regarding current dental treatment guidelines for pregnant women may not be sufficient to increase faculty’s provision of dental care to women during pregnancy. Future work to design effective interventions to increase dental treatment of pregnant women among dental faculty should address liability concerns. Knowledge Transfer Statement: Interventions addressing dental clinician and faculty knowledge about dental treatment for pregnant women may be insufficient to increase dental treatment among pregnant women. Instead, policy makers should consider designing, implementing, and evaluating interventions addressing malpractice and liability concerns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJDR Clinical and Translational Research
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • attitude
  • evidence-based medicine
  • knowledge
  • malpractice
  • oral health
  • prenatal care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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