What is the Oral Health Initiative?
Based on patient needs and the ability of the PA profession to make a difference in eradicating dental disease, AAPA, PAs for Oral Health, and the nccPA Health Foundation have joined to be part of a national oral health initiative. The goal of this initiative is to increase PA awareness and knowledge of oral health and potential ways to incorporate oral health into PA practice.
Why is oral health important?
Oral health is a vital component of preventive medicine and essential to general health and quality of life across the life span. But it’s often taken for granted. Taking the time to address oral health and deliver patient education can have a long-lasting impact on your patient’s health and well-being.
- Smiles for Life: A National Oral Health Curriculum – This is the nation’s only comprehensive oral health curriculum. It is designed to enhance the role of primary care clinicians in the promotion of oral health for all age groups through interactive online learning. Earn up to 8.5 hours of AAPA Category 1 CME credit by completing the eight online modules.
Guidelines and Recommendations
- National Interprofessional Initiative on Oral Health
- Organized, Evidence-Based Care: Oral Health Integration
- Oral Health Care During Pregnancy: A National Consensus Statement (PDF) National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center
- Prevention of Dental Caries in Children Younger Than 5 Years: Screening and Interventions (USPSTF, 12/07/21)
- How to Develop a Community Oral Health Program (COHP) (PDF) AAPA
- Smiles for Life: Ensuring Oral Health Across the Life Span (PDF) AAPA
Patient education is important not only in the examination room, but in the community as well. Oral heath literacy remains low, especially in vulnerable populations such as those with lower levels of educations, racial and ethnic minorities and individuals with a lower socioeconomic status.
One way to improve oral health knowledge is through community service programs. Students, faculty and practicing PAs can provide a collective impact and help fight oral disease but reaching out to the community and educating those at risk.
For more information on community service activities or lectures contact Denise Rizzolo at [email protected].
- Mouth Healthy American Dental Association
- Take Care of Your Teeth and Gums U.S. Department of Health and Human Services