Date of Award

Fall 2019


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Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS) in Dental Hygiene


Dental Hygiene


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine dental hygienists’ perceptions of their role on the prenatal care team and perceptions of obstetricians towards the role of dental hygienists as part of the prenatal care team. Methods: Data was collected from an anonymous electronic Likert-style survey sent to obstetricians at Denver Health and Hospitality Authority (DHHA) and Colorado Dental Hygienists’ Association (CODHA) members. Statistical analysis included descriptive statistics to provide an overview of survey data from all three subscales: knowledge (subscale 1), scope (subscale 2), and perceptions (subscale 3) and the standard t-Test to determine differences between demographics (collaboration with an obstetrician, highest level of education, and public health experience) and subscales. Results: The perceptions of obstetricians were not evaluated since the response rate (n=2) was not representative of the population. Whereas, the perceptions of dental hygienists were represented (N=106). Overall, surveyed Colorado dental hygienists (N=106) had a positive perception in all subscales respectively (M=4.4638, M=4.7529, M=4.7864). However, there are some outliers worth noting. Dental hygienists perceived dental radiographs and dental treatment more negatively with more variance. Independent sample t-test suggests having practiced with an obstetrician and in public health makes a significant difference in all subscale scores. Conclusion: Dental hygienists are in a position to use current practice guidelines to provide preventive oral health care and be an integral member of the prenatal care team.