Pediatric Dentists' Recommendations for Mouthguards in Patients with Cerebral Palsy
Pham, Elizabeth M.
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This study utilized an electronic survey to focus on the common practices of pediatric dentists towards recommending mouthguards to healthy patients and patients with cerebral palsy (CP). There was a response rate of 15.8%, and 188 surveys were analyzed. The subjects who responded were evenly distributed between male and female, in group or solo private practice, and from the Midwest, Southwest, and Pacific Coast. The majority of our subjects prescribed more mouthguards to healthy patients than patients with CP, regardless of the percentage of patients with CP in their practice. The main indications for recommending mouthguards for both healthy patients and patients with CP were history of trauma, excessive overjet, and bruxism. However, the subjects were more likely to select those as indications for healthy patients over patients with CP. They also recommend custom mouthguards over stock mouthguards. The main barriers in recommending mouthguards for healthy patients and patients with CP were patient compliance and patient tolerability. Subjects selected those barriers more often for patients with CP than healthy patients. They also felt that difficulty taking an impression was a major barrier towards recommending mouthguards to patients with CP. Interestingly, 78% of the practitioners felt that mouthguards would benefit patients with CP, but only 20% have recommended one to patients with CP. The subjects recommend mouthguards mainly for patients who participate in basketball, soccer, football, hockey, and softball. However, they recommend mouthguards for healthy patients who participate in sports more than patients with CP who participate in sports.