Report Finds Medical-Dental Integration Can Improve Overall Health Care Outcomes in Vulnerable Populations
Increasing communication between dental and medical providers reduces barriers to care according to a new report circulated in Connecticut by Delta Dental of Connecticut. According to the study, conducted by the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine, Medical-Dental Integration (MDI) improves positive health outcomes in vulnerable populations, such as at-risk children, pregnant women, seniors, and those in need of chronic disease management.
“This report underscores a fact that we’ve experienced first-hand in Connecticut for more than three decades – that oral health and overall physical health are inextricably linked,” stated Dennis G. Wilson, president and CEO of Delta Dental of New Jersey & Connecticut. “Oral health care is a critical component to overall wellness – and this especially is true for at-risk populations.”
Dr. Tamanna Tiwari, assistant professor in the department of community dentistry and population health at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine on the Anschutz Medical Campus led the review of MDI models over the last decade.
“The review finds that in an MDI model, coordinated, streamlined communication and collaboration among the entire care team is critical for positive patient outcomes and provider engagement,” Dr. Tiwari said. “Identifying creative ways to adapt to specific situations may help increase access to oral health screenings, diagnosis and referral of patients for chronic disease management. This has the potential to reduce the number of appointments and providers a patient must interact with, which increases the likelihood that patients will receive critical preventive care.”
The Delta Dental Institute funded the report, which supports the research-based exploration of care delivery models like MDI that improve health care outcomes and advance patient-centered care.
“Oral health is a critical component of whole person health,” said Joseph Dill, DDS, MBA, Head of Dental Science at the Delta Dental Institute. “Care delivery models that rely on collaboration and integration between primary and dental care teams, when implemented successfully, can create more inclusive approaches that help the health care system work better for everyone.”
Dr. Tiwari will present her report discoveries at the Interprofessional Collaborations to Improve Oral Health poster session on November 7, 2022, during the American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting.
About the Delta Dental Institute
The Delta Dental Institute is dedicated to advancing oral health for all Americans in partnership with the Delta Dental companies and dedicated partners across the country. With expertise rooted in Delta Dental’s rich history of oral health leadership, we engage in and support oral health research, community outreach, and advocacy, striving to ensure that everyone understands the importance of oral health to overall health and has access to the care they need. Visit deltadentalinstitute.com for more information.
About Delta Dental
In Connecticut, Delta Dental of Connecticut, Inc. is a licensed insurer that writes dental coverage on an insured basis, and Delta Dental of New Jersey administers self-funded dental benefit programs. Delta Dental of New Jersey, Inc. is New Jersey’s leading dental benefits company, providing or administering coverage to more than 1.9 million people through contracts with groups and individuals in New Jersey and Connecticut.
Offering dental benefits since 1969, Delta Dental’s mission is to promote oral health to the greatest number of people by providing accessible dental benefit programs of the highest quality, service, and value. We are a not-for-profit service corporation and, as a member of Delta Dental Plans Association, we’re part of a network that provides national dental coverage to more than 85 million people. For more information, visit https://www.deltadentalct.com.
About the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine
The only dental school in the Rocky Mountain region, the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine, is a leader in innovation. The school has five incredible dental programs, including three residencies and eight clinics on the Anschutz Medical Campus. Students learn in all dimensions, from virtual reality to the real world. The school provides inter-professional experience, research activities, and patient care. Patients can get quality care from our esteemed faculty, staff and students. Additional information about the school: https://dental.cuanschutz.edu/.
About the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is a world-class medical destination at the forefront of transformative science, medicine, education, and healthcare. The campus encompasses the University of Colorado health professional schools, more than 60 centers and institutes, and two nationally ranked hospitals treating more than 2 million adult and pediatric patients yearly. Innovative, interconnected, and highly collaborative, we deliver life-changing treatments, patient care, and professional training and conduct world-renowned research powered by more than $500 million in research awards. For more information, visit https://www.cuanschutz.edu.