Entrustable Professional Activities in Oral Health for Primary Care Providers Based on a Scoping Review

J Dent Educ. 2019 Dec;83(12):1370-1381. doi: 10.21815/JDE.019.152. Epub 2019 Sep 9.


Despite advances in oral health care, inequalities in oral health outcomes persist due to problems in access. With proper training, primary care providers can mitigate this inequality by providing oral health education, screening, and referral to advanced dental treatment. Diverging sets of oral health competencies and guidelines have been released or endorsed by multiple primary care disciplines. The aim of this study was to transform multiple sets of competencies into Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) for oral health integration into primary care training. A scoping review of the literature between January 2000 and December 2016 was conducted according to PRISMA methodology to identify all existing sets of competencies. The following primary care disciplines were included in the search: allopathic/osteopathic medical schools and residency programs in family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics; physician assistant programs; and nurse practitioner programs. Competencies were compared using the Health Resources and Services Administration Integration of Oral Health and Primary Care Practice competencies as the foundational set and translated into EPAs. The resulting EPAs were tested with a reactor panel. The scoping review produced 1,466 references, of which 114 were selected for full text review. Fourteen competencies were identified as being central to the integration of oral health into primary care. These were converted to seven EPAs for oral health integration into primary care and were mapped onto Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education residency competency domains as well to the Association of American Medical Colleges EPAs for graduating medical students. The resulting EPAs delineate the essential, observable work required of primary care providers to ensure that oral health is treated as a critical determinant of overall health.

Keywords: EPAs; entrustable professional activities; medical education; oral health; physicians; primary care; professional competence.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Education, Medical, Graduate
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Oral Health
  • Primary Health Care