Clinical Practice

  • Nurse taking blood pressure

    Clinical Models that Integrate Medical and Dental Care


Piloting new models of care to develop best practices for clinics of the future.


Innovative model where a Nurse Practioner works in the dental clinic.

A full-time nurse practitioner works in the Harvard Dental Center’s Teaching Practices and serves as a consultant and care navigator for older adult patients with hypertension and/or diabetes. Patients are screened for either condition and, if unmet needs are identified, are referred to an NP who can provide a Medicare Wellness Visit, point-of-care testing, and a referral to a medical home.

In addition, nurse practitioner students from Northeastern rotate through the dental clinic to develop skills in oral health screening  and diagnosis. Since February 2016 dozens of NP students have rotated through the dental clinic and have enhanced their oral health skills. This effort is being piloted through an agreement with HRSA, HSDM, and the Northeastern School of Nursing,

News about the program:

Harvard, Northeastern project bring dental, primary care together
Fluoride and a physical: Patients see docs at the dentist

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Partnerships with health systems and communities to better integrate oral health with primary care services.

Two of our partners, CareMore—an eight state Medicare advantage plan, and Commonwealth Care Alliance (CCA)—a Massachusetts based care and benefits provider, focus on providing care to Medicare and Medicaid populations that traditionally have had challenges accessing oral health care services.

We are working with both organizatins to develop best practices for the integration of dental services for medically complex patients. Together we are learning how to most effectively deliver oral health care to these vulnerable populations and we are studying the associated health and cost outcomes.