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Resources | OHI Toolkit | Option 2: Currently Offers On-Site Dental Services | Expansion/Addition of Off-Site Direct Services | Integration of Oral Health and Primary Care Practice


Resources | OHI Toolkit | Option 2: Currently Offers On-Site Dental Services | Expansion/Addition of Off-Site Direct Services

A strategy to expand on-site direct dental services is through integration of oral health and primary care practice (IOHPCP). The aim of IOHPCP is to improve access for early detection and preventive interventions by expanding oral health clinical competency of primary care clinicians.


In 2011, the Institute of Medicine published the reports, Improving Access to Oral Health Care for Vulnerable and Underserved Populations and Advancing Oral Health in America. These reports identified the appropriate training for non-dental professional to perform oral disease screenings and provide preventive services as a method of improving oral health care of the underserved. As a result, HRSA released the 2014 white paper, Integration of Oral Health and Primary Care Practice. This paper outlines the five oral health core clinical competencies for primary care providers.

Implementation of IOHPCP

Health centers expanding on-site direct dental services may consider IOHPCP as an option by engaging primary care providers in oral health activities such as completing oral health risk assessments, completing oral evaluations, and administering preventive interventions (i.e. fluoride varnish).

The following resources may be helpful in implementing IOHPCP:

Health centers may also consider embedding dental providers (dental hygienists, dentists, etc.) in the medical program to further integrate oral health and primary care. Health centers should also carefully review their state dental practice act to ensure that dental hygienists are able to practice in the medical setting.

Training Resources

When developing an integration program, a training system should be developed for primary care providers on oral health topics. The HRSA OHI funding can be used for training activities that enhance the integration of oral and primary care practice by improving the oral health core clinical competencies of primary care providers and interdisciplinary training. A few training resources include:



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NNOHA is the largest group of safety-net oral health practitioners in the country, and our members all share a commitment to increasing access to quality oral health care for underserved populations. NNOHA is committed to providing the highest quality resources and support designed to meet the unique needs of our members and their programs.

Integration of Oral Health and Primary Care Practice

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