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Anna is a 25-year-old pregnant woman who visits her patient-centered medical home for an initial prenatal visit. You take an oral health history and learn that her last dental visit was one year ago. Anna states, “I am afraid to see the dentist, it’s not safe for my baby”. You check Anna’s mouth and notice that her gums are mildly swollen and red, and her teeth have some plaque buildup.
What message should the primary care clinician communicate to Anna?
One month later, Anna returns for her monthly check-up. During the clinic visit you notice that Anna is nervous and fidgeting. You take the time to ask her, ” What questions or concerns are on your mind”? Anna tells you that she followed your advice and tried to schedule to see her dentist. Her dentist refuses to see her until after her baby is born. Anna states, “I am confused and don’t know what to believe.”
To address Anna’s oral health care concern, how should the primary care clinician respond to Anna?
With Anna’s permission, you contact her dentist to discuss the patient’s oral health care needs. During the discussion, you learn that the dentist did not receive a great deal of training in prenatal oral health care and is not aware of the recent guidelines emphasizing oral health care as an important component of a healthy pregnancy. You take this opportunity to inform the dentist about the evidence-based guidelines on oral health care in pregnancy.
To work in collaboration with the dentist to address Anna’s oral health care needs, how should a primary care clinician respond to the dentist?