It is fitting to end this course by repeating a quote from an ADA publication, “This is a critical moment in dentistry and not a time for complacency. Understanding the key forces at work will assist the profession in defining its own destiny. Ignoring what is happening in the health and consumer environments will mean ceding the future of the profession to others.”35 ADA, IPE and ICP are shifting healthcare and social care paradigm by driving care to be delivered in collaborative teams. These teams will value working together in a climate of mutual respect, use its professions’ knowledge to assess and address the needs of patients and populations, communicate broadly in a responsive and responsible manner, and apply relationship-building and team dynamics to address the Triple Aim.
While we have only highlighted a few salient examples of the significant value of oral healthcare providers being an integral part of ICP, many more examples in which oral healthcare providers contribute to improving the overall health of populations and examples of oral healthcare providers working in team-based collaborative care has increased. It is imperative oral healthcare providers appreciate the growing number of colleagues in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, physician assistants that are becoming more aware of the importance of the relationship between oral health in overall health and the scope of practice boundaries have become somewhat blurred. A patient’s visit to a dental practice is an opportune time to screen, assess, and monitor patients who are at risk and/or have been diagnosed with chronic systemic medical conditions. Oral healthcare providers should strive to inform other health professionals about oral disease and the need for early referral and build these relationships that will contribute to better health for all populations, reduce the cost of care and result in better patient outcomes.
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