Oral Health and Medicine Integration: Overcoming Historical Artifact to Relieve Suffering
June 29, 2017
American Journal of Public Health
“I haven’t been able to kiss my wife in over a year.”1 Why? Kissing hurts her mouth too much. Why? Her teeth are fractured and painful. Why? Like many Americans, money is tight for this couple and American health care has failed them. Read Article
"Learning about the integration of primary care and dentistry in our dental school setting has been an unparalleled experience. Seeing patients who have previously undiagnosed chronic conditions receive the medical attention they need sheds light on how important it is to increase collaboration between the medical and dental worlds."
~ Yassee E. Pirooz, DMD, HSDM class of 2018
The Nurse Practitioner & Dentist (NPD) model, piloted since 2015 at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine in collaboration with Northeastern University, promotes interprofessional practice /and education by integrating primary care services provided by a nurse practitioner into an academic dental practice environment.
In this innovative model, nursing and dental students work in interprofessional teams and are jointly responsible for providing primary care and dental services to patients. During supervised clinical rotations, students learn how each profession formulates diagnoses, implements preventive interventions, and makes referrals within their scopes of practice. Students develop interprofessional plans of care under the direct supervision of NP and dental faculty. Older adults (>65 years of age) living with one or more chronic health conditions, particularly diabetes and hypertension, constitute the target population.