Programs & Initiatives

Oral Health Core Clinical Competencies

In 2011 the Institute of Medicine published a report, Improving Access to Oral Health Care for Vulnerable and Underserved Population, which identified the appropriate training of non-dental professionals to perform oral disease screenings and provide preventive services as a method of improving oral health care of the underserved. These recommendations led to work in 2012 identifying what core competencies non-dental personnel need to be trained in to conduct this work.

Out of this work, the Health Resources and Services Administration identified NNOHA as the ideal partner to conduct a pilot of the identified Oral Health Core Clinical Competencies.

Through a nationwide application process, three health centers were selected as pilot sites for this initiative. Each site selected a population around which to base their intervention and selected an oral health curriculum for medical staff to be trained in. The goals of this project are to evaluate if this training leads to:

  • Increased oral health screenings and preventive services,
  • Increased oral health integration and primary care practice,
  • Increased interprofessional collaborative practice,
  • Increased care coordination between medical and dental, and
  • Identifiable sustainable approaches to practice changes.

Initial findings were presented at the 2013 and 2014 National Primary Oral Health Conferences and a full report will be available in early 2015.

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