Solutions to Oral Health Inequities

Published 04/23/2021

CareQuest Institute Contributes to a New Report from Harvard's Center for Primary Care

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated previously existing health inequities bringing them into sharper focus. In early 2020, dental providers were under state mandates to limit provision of care. Access to care was reduced while health inequities were magnified – the elderly, people in congregate living facilities, people with underlying health conditions, minority groups, and others not only had higher rates of COVID-19, but also worse health outcomes and higher mortality rates. 

In addition, the connection between a heathy mouth and a healthy body can’t be ignored. Everything from eating, smiling, employability, self-perception, and perception of others is directly influenced by oral health.  

Tackling these health inequities is a huge challenge, but there are ways we can champion progress and work toward solutions. These solutions include sustained enhanced use of teledentistry, minimally invasive dentistry, interprofessional collaborative practice, workforce expansion, value-based care, and enhanced public insurance programs. In a new report from The Center for Primary Care at Harvard Medical School (HMS), the CareQuest Institute outlines Solutions to Oral Health Inequities. 

Check back soon for a recording of our webinar on Oral Health, Primary Care, and the COVID-19 Pandemic.