Oral Health Management of Pregnant Dental Patients

Publication ID Published Volume
4056 September 21, 2009 5


This is one item in the section of the Clinical Manual at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry that guides students in treatment of medically complex patients. There has been much confusion among students and clinical instructors regarding oral health care procedures for pregnant patients. Uncertainty about what can and cannot be done for these patients has led to incorrect clinical decisions; some patients have been dismissed from the clinic with no care provided. Lack of supporting evidence underlies much of this confusion. This resource provides current evidence to facilitate clinical decisions based on the principles of evidence-based dentistry. It also helps develop communication skills between obstetricians and oral health care providers, permitting them to share health information about the patient and fetus. We have found this to be very helpful in our institution and we would like to share it with others.

The material was created based on requests of students and faculty for guidance in managing pregnant dental patients. Since this material has been available, much confusion has been resolved and patients receive appropriate care based on scientific evidence. This significance includes promotion of oral health for the pregnant patient and facilitation of essential dental care, such as elimination of infectious sources, thereby improving the quality of life for the patient and fetus. The quality of education has been improved for learners and instructors. Clinical instruction should be based on current evidence, comprehensive assessment of the patient, including medical consultation, and patient values. By providing these guidelines, students are more confident in decision-making when treating pregnant patients. Patients have benefitted by receiving appropriate oral health care.


Geist R. Oral health management of pregnant dental patients. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2009;5:4056. http://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.4056

Contains Information Suitable for Patient Education

Educational Objectives

  1. To be able to provide instructional material that presents current evidence on the risks and benefits of dental care for pregnant patients.
  2. To be able to provide instructional material that provides guidelines on dental procedures for patients in various stages of pregnancy.
  3. To be able to provide instructional material that provides instruction on how to request pertinent information from the patient's obstetrician, and what information to request.


  • Pregnancy, Pregnant Patients, Teeth, Dentistry

Prior Scholarly Dissemination


Classroom presentation to 4th year dental students. In-service presentations to clinical faculty are planned.

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ISSN 2374-8265