U.S. adults face access barriers to primary care due to high rates of chronic disease and
an insufficient number of physicians. Dentists could fill the primary care void by offering
chronic disease diagnosis and monitoring in their dental offices.
Expert stakeholders in the dental, medical, and public health fields in Massachusetts
opined that dentists trained in systemic care could serve patients who do not have
access to physicians and relieve the overburdened primary care industry while lowering
health care costs.
Reforms needed to expand the primary care scope of dentistry include changes to dental
school curriculum, increased interprofessional collaboration between physicians and
dentists, and implementation of governmental supervision