Dental and medical health systems in the United States have evolved as fully separate entities. This division exacerbates health inequity, since patients’ poor oral health affects their general health. The professionally entrenched view that what’s in patients’ mouths is somehow isolated from what’s going on in the rest of their bodies is one all clinicians need to resist, since this view can be a source of harm, particularly among vulnerable patients and communities. Practical and ethical strategies for better aligning medical and dental goals of care are considered in this issue.
Eleanor Fleming, PhD, DDS, MPH, Julie Frantsve-Hawley, PhD, and Myechia Minter-Jordan, MD, MBA
Continued separation of dental and oral health from general medical care generates unnecessary prescriptions and pain management that are neither restorative nor responsive to patients’ primary complaints.
AMA J Ethics. 2022;24(1):E48-56. doi: