Linking the Medical and Dental Delivery Systems for Improved Oral Health

From April 11-13, 2011, the Santa Fe Group convened a panel discussion at the National Oral Health Conference in Pittsburgh, PA on the need for linking medical and dental delivery systems to improve patient care, particularly in identifying oral diseases in children under age three. The panel presented three case studies, including the Washington State Well Baby program, Maine’s Early Childhood Oral Health Initiative, and North Carolina’s Into The Mouth of Babes program.

These programs serve as examples of new models for the integration of oral health and medical care. Using these case studies, participants discussed the coordination between medical and dental professionals in the delivery of primary care to young children, identified successes and challenges associated with this program, and reviewed program outcomes and training requirements.