10 steps to Medical-Dental collaboration

Looking to work and collaborate with local physicians? Seeking to encourage members in the medical field in your community are the importance of oral health as part of the overall health?

NegotiationHere are 10 steps to help you with your outreach effort, courtesy of the ADA’s Action for Dental Health, a nationwide, community-based movement aimed at ending the dental health crisis facing America today.

  • Step 1: Contact a local physician or county medical society director to attend a meeting of the local medical society. Discuss with the medical society officers the possibility of an opportunity to present dental issues to the membership.
  • Step 2: Contact your local hospital continuing education coordinator to offer a “Grand Rounds” or “Dental 101” CE offering. An alternative is to have an introductory “Dental Issues” CME course for local physicians and chiropractors.
  • Step 3: Invite the president of the local medical society and/or hospital board president to a local dental society meeting for communication/networking opportunities.
  • Step 4: Invite the dental director and executive director of the local community health center to a dental society meeting to meet local dentists and specialists. Discuss the possibility of local dentists serving on health center committees to ensure cross collaboration between medical/dental departments.
  • Step 5: Schedule a dinner meeting with local OB-GYN physicians/staff to share information about the importance of oral health for pregnant women. Offer written materials and support to encourage their patients seek dental care during their pregnancy.
  • Step 6: Visit a local pediatrician’s or family practitioner’s office and schedule a luncheon in-service with office staff. Bring oral hygiene educational materials to reinforce the opportunities for medical staff to encourage the importance of oral health as part of overall health.
  • Step 7: Schedule a luncheon in-service with hospital Radiation/Oncology staff. Discuss the role of oral hygiene with restorative/rehabilitative needs for patients with cancer.
  • Step 8: Schedule a luncheon or dinner in-service with local periodontists and internal medicine specialists. Discuss the role of periodontal disease in maintaining optimal hemoglobin A1C levels for diabetic patients.
  • Step 9: Meet with local physician assistants/nurse practitioners to perform a “Dental 101” type continuing education meeting. Discuss dental emergencies/oral cancer and the role they can play in collaboration with the dentist in facilitating resolution of patient’s dental pain needs.
  • Step 10: Attend a hospital ER department/senior nurses’ meeting to discuss dental issues. Advise them on the role they can play in collaboration with dentists with regard to dental disease management.

To read the full 10-step process, click here. For more information about the ADA’s Action for Dental Health, visit ADA.org/action.

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