Oral health is an important part of whole health that, when left untreated, can cause numerous physical health problems including: pain, complications to other chronic conditions, loss of teeth, nutritional problems, and occasionally, even death. From an economic perspective, preventable oral health conditions are far too often being treated in Emergency Rooms with expensive surgeries rather than with preventive dental care. Providing adequate dental care is a growing concern as efforts continue to integrate healthcare, as current policy does not support the provision of dental services to the population.
- Referral Resources
- Dental Care for Persons with Mental Illness
- Patient Education
January eSolutions: Oral Care is Rooted in Whole Health, explores the role of oral care in whole health and ways providers can incorporate dental care into integrated settings. Articles profile the work of the Dental Lifeline Network and Central Oklahoma Community Mental Health Center.
The Oral Health Tips fact sheet offers suggestions for effectively addressing oral health in integrated primary care settings.
The Oral Health Integration Implementation Guide provides an action plan to implement screening for oral health risk factors and active diseases, initiate appropriate preventive interventions, and coordinate dental care for those with an active disease.
Trauma Survivors in Medical and Dental Settings is a brochure from the Western Massachusetts Training Consortium, a SAMHSA PBHCI grantee, which outlines provider considerations for trauma survivors in dental settings.
The National Association of Dental Plans report shows that access to dental care is improved with dental benefits and that dental care improves oral health.
HealthyPeople.gov highlights the goals and objectives of oral health by the year 2020. This resource offers interventions and resources to prevent and control oral and craniofacial diseases, conditions, and injuries, and improve access to preventive services and dental care.
Health Resources and Services Administration’s Integration of Oral Health and Primary Care Practice report offers resources and suggestions to bring dental care into your organization. Dental services, such as mobile vans, partnering with local community health centers that offer dental services, and connecting with local dental providers as a part of your coordinated care efforts are ideas discussed to integrate dental care services into your organization.
Increasing Access to Dental Care through Public Private Partnerships: Contracting Between Private Dentists and Federally Qualified Health Centers is a handbook that provides background on how contracting works, includes a model contract, and offers step-by-step options for implementation. This resource also defines state insurance coverage laws, including whether Medicaid offers any dental benefits.
Medicaid Oral Health Access and Integration: Resource Round-Up is a newsletter from the Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc. that offers a host of resources designed to help state policymakers, health and oral health plans, providers, advocacy organizations, and other stakeholders advance oral health access and quality for low-income communities. Resources include, fact sheets, briefs, blogs, webinars and a technical assistance tool.
Medicaid Adult Dental Benefits, a new fact sheet from the Center for Health Care Strategies outlines states’ current coverage of dental benefits for adults in Medicaid. It also suggests opportunities for states to increase oral health care coverage and access for this population.
Improving Access to Oral Health Care for Vulnerable and Underserved Populations, a report from the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council for HRSA, assesses the oral health care delivery system in the United States, and provides a roadmap for public and private partnerships to create an integrated delivery system of oral care for vulnerable and underserved populations.
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation released four new and updated resources that present data and analyze issues related to oral health care, coverage and access in the U.S.
- Background Brief on Oral Health
- Key Facts Around Oral Health in the US
- Children and Oral Health: Assessing Needs, Coverage and Access
- Oral Health and Medicare Beneficiaries: Coverage, Out-of-Pocket Spending and Unmet Need
- Oral Health and Low-Income Nonelderly Adults: A Review of Coverage and Access
A User’s Guide for Implementation of Interprofessional Oral Health Core Clinical Competencies report from the National Network for Oral health Access describes interprofessional oral health core clinical competencies that HRSA developed to increase integration of oral health care into primary health care.
Guidance for Oral Health Professionals (pgs. 4-5) is a resources from the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center lists the activities performed by oral health professionals to pregnant women as allowed by state practice acts.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers resources and training to help pediatricians and other medical providers learn how to identify oral disease, provide caries prevention services, and when to refer to a dentist.
The Integration of Oral Health and Primary Care Practice report provides a framework for the design of a competency-based, interprofessional practice model to integrate oral health and primary care.
The Cultural Competency Program for Oral Health Professionals (CCPOHP) through the Office of Minority Health offers information and knowledge about cultural and linguistic competency specifically for oral health professionals.
Poor teeth is a magazine article that outlines the benefits of a healthy smile and the implications and misperceptions of an unhealthy one, which extend well beyond health. This article explains how oral health affects self-esteem, employment, and personal relationships.
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research offers a host of educational materials on the importance of regular oral care in your center’s common areas and exam rooms. Additionally, this resource provides the opportunity to order free publications on a number of oral health related topic areas.
The Health Resources and Service’s Administration’s Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center provides brochures, resource bulletins, and fact sheets on a number of oral health topics. This resource offers oral health educational materials in English and Spanish appropriate for all audiences.
The American Diabetes Association discusses the Connection Between Diabetese and Oral Health Problems.
Tips for Good Oral Health During Pregnancy (pgs.8-9) is a resource from the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center that offers oral health tips for practicing healthy behaviors for pregnant women to keep the mother and the baby healthy. This tip sheet also offers suggestions for taking care of your baby’s oral health after the baby is born.
Brushing and Flossing Tip sheet offers information for caregivers of older adults. This fact sheet offers practical suggestions about how to provide guidance or direct care, as well as tips.
- Free medical/dental clinics by state
- Free Dental Clinics, Free Dental Treatment & Other Resources
- Integrated care providers should know where to refer people for care. Many states have low-cost dental clinics and many federally-qualified health centers (FQHCs) provide dental services to individuals without dental coverage.
- Donated Dental Services (DDS), is a program of Dental Lifeline Network and a resource which provides free, comprehensive dental treatment to the most vulnerable people with disabilities or who are elderly or medically fragile.
Oral health in Veterans Affairs patients diagnosed with serious mental illness is a study that evaluates patient and medication treatment factors associated with self-reported oral health status in patients diagnosed with serious mental illness (SMI) in a large, national sample of patients in the Veterans Affairs (VA) health system.
How Oral Health & Mental Health are Connected is an issue brief that discusses the factors affecting the oral health of individuals living with mental illness. It also address potential strategies to implement activities that can impact health behavior and promote interventions.
Three Shires Dental Checklist is a resource for behavioral health providers to assess client’s oral health. The topic areas addressed in the checklist include, the client’s mental health status, dental history, and the current state of their oral health. It also suggests solutions for problems that an oral health difficulty may cause. For more information, read this article.
An oral health intervention for people with serious mental illness (Three Shires Early Intervention Dental Trial): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial reports the link between mental illness and poor oral health. This study examines whether dental awareness training plus a dental checklist leads to a clinically significant difference in oral health behavior of people with serious mental illness. This study highlights the significance of mental health professionals recognizing oral health problems and patients who experience barriers to treatment.
Southern Assoc of Institutional Dentists: Module 9: Clinical Concerns in Dental Care for Persons with Mental Illness.
JADA Journal of the American Dental Association: Dental Care and Associated Factors Among Older Adults with Schizophrenia:
Schizophrenia Bulletin 2011: Oral Health Advice for People With Serious Mental Illness.
Journal of Dental Research: Effects of an Oral Health Promotion Program in People with Mental Illness.
Before You Say Ahhh.... Integrating Oral Health in Behavioral Health in Primary Care Settings