Promoting Medical/Dental Health Integration
Oral health is an important part of overall health, this is especially true for Vermonters who have diabetes, coronary artery disease, cerebral vascular disease or who are pregnant.
Patients who have low socioeconomic status are most at risk for oral disease, have the least access to dental care, and are also at greater risk for experiencing chronic disease. Many people who don’t receive regular dental care rely on their primary care physician to tell them if there is a problem. Even though preventative dental care is covered by Medicaid in Vermont, only about 30% of adult Vermonters insured by Medicaid access dental care annually. Primary care practices are keenly positioned to help patients understand the linkages of oral health to systemic health, and a referral from a family physician to a dentist in the community can have a huge long term impact.