A model for dental practice in the 21st century

Am J Public Health. 2011 Oct;101(10):1825-30. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300234. Epub 2011 Aug 18.


The dental profession is responsible for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases and disorders of the oral cavity and related structures. Although the majority of the US population receives excellent oral health care, a significant portion is unable to access regular care. Along with proposals to develop midlevel providers, the scope of practice for dentists needs to be reconceptualized and expanded. A broad number of primary health care activities may be conducted in the dental office, such as screening for hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and dermatopathology; smoking prevention and cessation activities; and obesity interventions. More than 70% of adults saw a dentist in the past year, which represents an unrealized opportunity to improve both oral health and general health.

MeSH terms

  • Education, Dental / trends
  • General Practice, Dental / standards
  • General Practice, Dental / trends*
  • Humans
  • Oral Health / standards
  • Practice Patterns, Dentists' / standards
  • Practice Patterns, Dentists' / trends
  • Primary Health Care / trends
  • Technology, Dental / trends
  • United States