Determinants of Dental Care Attendance during Pregnancy: A Systematic Review

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Despite the fact that dental care attendance during pregnancy has been recommended by guidelines and institutions, the demand for dental services is still low among pregnant women. The aim of this study was to identify and analyze the determinants of dental care attendance during pregnancy. We performed a systematic literature search in the electronic databases PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature, Brazilian Library in Dentistry, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and Medline using relevant keywords. Studies were filtered by publication year (2000-2016) and language (English, Portuguese, Spanish, and French). The included studies were assessed for quality. Their characteristics and statistically significant factors were reported. Fourteen papers were included in the review. The prevalence of dental service usage during pregnancy ranged from 16 to 83%. Demographic factors included women's age, marital status, parity, and nationality. The socioeconomic factors were income, educational level, and type of health insurance. Many psychological and behavioral factors played a role, including oral health practices, oral health and pregnancy beliefs, and health care maintenance. Referred symptoms of gingivitis, dental pain, or dental problems were perceived need. Demographic, socioeconomic, psychological, behavioral factors and perceived need were associated with the utilization of dental services during pregnancy. More well-designed studies with reliable outcomes are required to confirm the framework described in this review.

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