|Oral health has been largely neglected and siloed from the rest of the health care system, yet studies show more than 90% of all systemic diseases have oral manifestations. The cost to care for these chronic diseases contributes to growing national health expenditures – above and beyond the $520 million Medicare spends annually on dental emergency room visits or the $6 billion lost in economic productivity from dental-related work absences.
Medical-dental integration is an approach to care that integrates and coordinates dental medicine with primary care and behavioral health to support person and population health. This approach, also referred to as interprofessional practice or IPP, has demonstrated early promise, with positive patient outcomes and reductions in total cost of care.
Given the mouth-body connection, there is an increasing need to break down that silo and advance integration between primary care and dental providers.