Physicians and caries prevention. Results of a physician survey on preventive dental services

JAMA. 1984 Sep 21;252(11):1447-8. doi: 10.1001/jama.252.11.1447.


Physicians are aware of and support selected caries preventive techniques involving fluoride, particularly community water fluoridation, fluoridating school water supplies, and the prescription of dietary fluoride supplements. Physicians are generally less informed about the relative worth of other caries preventive measures. The role of the practicing physician in the provision of caries prevention methods is a very active one, with physicians prescribing fluoride supplements, counseling on diet, and providing oral hygiene education. Children would be better served in caries prevention if the interest and initiative of the medical practitioners were encouraged and current information was made available to them. These findings represent the preliminary analysis of a mailed survey to a stratified, systematic sample of 2,000 physicians who treat child patients in the nation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dental Caries / prevention & control*
  • Fluorides / administration & dosage
  • Health Education, Dental
  • Humans
  • Physician's Role*
  • Role*


  • Fluorides