American Academy of Physician Assistants

Oral Health Initiative

 

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.

On this page you'll find resources to help you educate your patients, incorporate oral health into your practice and earn CME.

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.

Here are a couple questions to consider as you begin to incorporate oral health into your practice:

  • Are you aware of the link between oral health and systemic disease?
  • Do you understand different oral health concerns throughout the life span?
  • Can you recognize and identify oral lesions that present a risk of cancer or other diseases?
  • Do you incorporate oral health screening into your patient physicals?
  • Did you know that dental caries is the most prevalent childhood disease?
 

CME

  • Smiles for Life: A National Oral Health CurriculumSmiles for Life This 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

Practice resources

Patient education

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 rizzoloden@aol.com.

Websites