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CDA Journal explains new perinatal guidelines

The September issue of the Journal of the California Dental Association addresses the CDA’s new perinatal oral health guidelines and explains how providers may choose to apply the guidelines to daily clinical practice.

In June, the CDA introduced “Oral Health During Pregnancy and Early Childhood: Evidence-Based Guidelines for Health Professionals.”

The guidelines are designed to assist practitioners in the importance of providing oral health services to pregnant women. Additionally, they define the physiologic changes during pregnancy and their impact on providing care, legal implications including professional liability, and policy recommendations designed to reduce barriers that prevent pregnant women from getting the care they need.

“At the forefront in the minds of many clinicians is concern over causing harm to the pregnant woman or her fetus during the course of treatment,” said Dr. Lindsey Robinson, chair of the CDA Foundation. “These guidelines help clinicians understand the importance of providing oral health services to pregnant women and making appropriate decisions regarding their care.”

In developing the guidelines, the CDAF convened an expert panel in collaboration with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, District IX, to review scientific literature and recent research on the relationship between oral disease, treatment and pregnancy outcomes.

The experts were charged with identifying existing interventions, practices and policies, assessing issues of concern and developing recommendations. They concluded that prevention, diagnosis and treatment, including dental X-rays and local anesthesia, are all beneficial and also determined that controlling oral disease in pregnant women can potentially help reduce the transmission of disease from mother to infant.

For a copy of the complete guidelines, visit www.cdafoundation.org/guidelines. A supplemental policy brief and patient education materials are also available.