Oral Health: An Essential Component of Primary Care

Posted & filed under Fluoride, Oral Health, and Access to Care.

Oral health is essential for healthy development and healthy aging, yet nationwide there is an unacceptably high burden of oral disease. Delivering preventive oral health care in the primary care setting will expand access for nearly all patients, particularly high-risk and vulnerable patients.

Care For Your Teeth VideoA new white paper published by Qualis Health, and endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and other organizations, offers a framework for including preventive oral health care as a component of routine medical care and enhancing partnerships with dentistry. Additional resources include an Executive Summary and Case Examples featuring the experiences of two pediatric practices that are leading the way.

The Oral Health Delivery Framework delineates the activities for which a primary care team can take accountability to protect and promote oral health. These activities are within the scope of practice for primary care; and if organized efficiently, can be integrated into the office workflow of diverse practice settings. The Oral Health Delivery Framework was developed in partnership with a diverse panel of experts, and has been endorsed by a broad array of organizations. Following field-testing of the framework, a complete oral health integration guide will be published in 2016.