195197 Increasing dental benefits utilization rates among the perinatal population; West Virginia Perinatal Partnership

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 12:30 PM

Bobbi Jo Muto, RDH, BS , Robert C Byrd Center for Rural Health - School of Medicine, Marshall University, Huntington, WV
When examining risk factors that contribute to adverse neonatal outcomes, it is common knowledge that infection is a leading contributor. However, it is not widely known , that ďas many as 18 percent of the 250,000 premature low-birth-weight infants born in the United States each year may be attributed to infectious oral disease. Over the past twenty five years there has been a growing body of research supporting an association between poor oral health/chronic oral infection to the increased incidence of preterm labor and low birth weight babies. Oral health and maternal, infant and child health are two of the twenty eight focus areas prioritized to receive action by the Healthy People 2010 initiative. For many women in West Virginia, pregnancy is the only time that they will have medical and dental coverage. This period of time is also when women are more receptive to modifying or changing behaviors that result in better health outcomes. This window of opportunity affords healthcare professionals with a unique vantage point in providing education and treatment to improve the oral health status for the woman and ultimately her child. Over half of all pregnant women in West Virginia receive benefits through Medicaid. While the data on the availability of oral health care for these women is inadequate, what we do know suggests that we have a serious problem. The WV Perinatal Partnership-Oral Health Committee has implemented several programs and projects aimed at increasing the utilization rate among the perinatal population with dental coverage.

Learning Objectives:
1-Understand how pregnancy affects the teeth and the gums 2-Explain why periodontal disease is associated with preterm low birth weight babies 3-Identify how to reduce the risks of premature birth 4-List three barriers to oral health services for the perinatal patient 5-Develop a successful partnership within the healthcare delivery system for perinatal patients focused on improving birth outcomes 6- Design a perinatal oral health education program aimed at all healthcare providers involved in the perinatal system 7- Implement a perinatal oral health education program aimed at all healthcare providers involved in the perinatal system

Keywords: Oral Health, Perinatal Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Served at staff to WV Perinatal Partenership Oral Health Subcommitte for past four years -involved in development and implemetation of current program
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.