Medical Dental
Medical Dental
Medical Dental Integration

The connection between oral health and overall health is clear.  Despite our growing understanding of the relationship between oral health and systemic disease, oral health care often remains separate from the rest of the health care system. Medical-dental integration is an approach that can help build that critical bridge between oral health and overall health. At medical visits, including a discussion on oral health, providing basic oral health care such as an oral health screening and application of fluoride varnish, and referring patients to a dental provider can help highlight the role of oral health in overall health. Likewise, dental providers can promote wellness by monitoring blood pressure, discussing tobacco cessation, and screening for diabetes.

By breaking down traditional barriers that often separate medical and dental disciplines, this integration will enhance patient outcomes, promote preventive measures, and address health concerns in a more unified and comprehensive manner.

Medical Dental Integration Activities in Kansas

Begin with a Grin
The Begin with a Grin program trains medical professionals to provide preventive oral health services for high-risk young children to decrease dental disease and reduce oral health disparities. It is modeled after a similar program in Colorado. Trainings include skill building around the standard practices of caries risk assessment, oral evaluation, knee to knee exam, fluoride varnish application, counseling/education with primary caregiver, caregiver goal setting, and referral to dental providers.

Click on these links to learn more about Begin with a Grin training in Kansas:

Health Department promotional flyer
Medical clinic promotional flyer
Research article on fluoride varnish in medical settings
If your organization is interested in scheduling a free training, contact Kathy Hunt at

100 Million Mouths Campaign
The 100 Million Mouths Campaign is a national project that has identified oral champions in selected states to work with their health schools (e.g. medical schools, physician assistant schools, obstetrical residencies, nurse practitioner schools, etc.) to integrate oral health into their curricula. This in turn will produce medical professionals who realize that the mouth affects overall health and the importance of including oral health in conversations with their patients. Kansas was selected as one of the first 14 states to promote this campaign. Over the next decade, this project will create oral health champions in each state.

Click on these links to learn more about integrating oral health into medical schools in Kansas:

Integrating oral health into health professions school curricula
100MMC flyer for KS
Center for Integration of Primary Care and Oral Health
If your medical school is interested in receiving support for oral health integration, please contact Kathy Hunt at


Other Resources:

A Healthy Mouth for Every Body Campaign Toolkit
This oral health literacy campaign offers tools to help people learn how to take good care of their oral health and how it is connected to overall health and wellbeing.


Smiles for Life curriculum
Smiles for Life curriculum is designed to enhance the role of primary care clinicians in the promotion of oral health for all age groups through the development and dissemination of high-quality educational resources.

Want to know more about how the health of your mouth affects your overall health? Check this out:

Check out this video to find out why it is important for medical providers to include oral health in their medical practice.



This medical dental integration work is made possible with financial support from:


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