Putting the Mouth Back into the Body: A PCC Report Calling for More Integration of Oral Health and Primary Care

An Initiative of the Primary Care Collaborative funded by the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health


The Primary Care Collaborative (PCC) led a year-long initiative ending in 2021 to advance oral health and primary care integration—a facet of comprehensive primary care that the PCC is advancing in the Shared Principles of Primary Care. The project produced a report, released on March 31, 2021, for leaders on what is possible in oral health-primary care integration via exemplary cases—spanning settings, payer types, and degree of integration. An advisory group of diverse experts informed the report and ensured that it is relevant, impactful, and scalable. PCC is disseminating the report throughout its members and network of supporters.

Who were the key stakeholders involved?

  • Primary Care Collaborative
  • The Advisory Group comprised expert stakeholders from across the country, including oral health and primary care professionals, employers, payers, academia, consumer groups, and government.
  • Key consultants to the PCC included:
    • Anita Glicken, Executive Director of the National Interprofessional Initiative on Oral Health (NIIOH)
    • Lisa Simon, a dentist and researcher at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine
  • The CareQuest Institute for Oral Health funded the project through a grant. The CareQuest Institute works to improve oral health for all by transforming health systems through research, thought leadership, care improvement activities, and grant-making.

What was the role of the advisory group, and who was on it?

The Advisory Group members brought their expertise and diverse perspectives to the project, including:

  • informing the project’s integration framework
  • recommending and vetting potential exemplary cases
  • identifying cross-cutting themes for the compendium.

Advisory Group members also reviewed portions of the compendium and provided feedback.

Read the final report

Innovations in Oral Health and Primary Care Integration calls for two vital areas of the healthcare system to collaborate more. Primary care, as the main point of entry and access to support for patients in the healthcare system, represents a remarkable opportunity to better meet patients’ oral health needs across the socio-economic spectrum. In addition, integration of oral health and primary care is increasingly acknowledged as a key strategy to achieve health justice. Using the framework of the seven Principles of Primary Care, this report highlights the many diverse mechanisms and the varying scope of integration efforts across the U.S.


Download the report and see related resources.

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