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The Integration of Oral Health in Primary Care Practice

The DentaQuest Partnership works to aid both in the integration of oral health in primary care practice, as well as the coordination of care with dental partners.

Also recognizing the relationship between IPP, the triple aim, and value-based care, the DentaQuest Partnership employs various methodologies to achieve a cohesive oral health IPP system.

The goals for these systems include:

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DentaQuest Partnership Policy Icon
DentaQuest Partnership Policy Icon


MORE Care (Medical Oral Expanded Care) is an initiative of the Denta Quest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement that aims to integrate oral health competencies and capabilities into primary care offices while building patient-centered referral networks with local dental providers using health information technology. As we move into a new era of health care, MORE Care provides the framework to help clinics achieve a more comprehensive approach to health care.

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Operational Integration of Health Care

  • Oral health evaluation
  • Fluoride varnish application
  • Self-management goals
  • Dental care referral

Cooperative tasks

  • Implement a bi-directional referral system (Medical-dental referral coordination)
  • Initiate, develop and improve interprofessional communication protocols and processes
  • Identify areas of clinical and operational overlap to optimize care team time


Operational Integration of Primary Care Referral Characteristics

  • Referral acceptance verified
  • Clinical summaries for referral communication
  • Referral dental care completion verified
  • Incorporating a person centered disease management approach to care


Using a Breakthrough Series Collaborative model, MORE Care works within communities to establish interprofessional oral health networks (IPOHNs) to integrate person centered oral health care.

The MORE Care project team focuses first on assisting the medical practices in developing the skills and adopting the processes necessary to integrate oral health services into their existing workflows. Medical practices then work to implement health information technology solutions which enable electronic referral communication to dental practices.

MORE Care provides an adaptable framework, so communities can make modifications based on their specific needs. This allows for the creation of localized solutions within each system.


State-based partners work with local dental providers and organized dentistry to cultivate referral relationships so that patients seen in the primary care practice can be referred without obstacle. Dental and primary care teams work together to establish open lines of communication that promote shared goals and comprehensive care for their patients.

The MORE Care framework focuses on health information technology as a way to facilitate interprofessional practice.

Partnership and Growth

Throughout the MORE Care Collaborative, the DentaQuest Partnership has worked with local, state and national stakeholders testing strategies to integrate and coordinate oral health care for patients.


Participating MORE Care Primary Care Practices

Phase 1 Pilot: The South Carolina Experience

In 2015, the DentaQuest Partnership worked with the South Carolina Office of Rural Health and Medical University of South Carolina to pilot test models of integration of oral health into primary care and build dental care referral networks. 6 rural primary care practices participated in a 12-month learning collaborative to test strategies for optimizing systems in their practices to support the delivery of oral health preventive services and coordinate care to dental


Phase 2 Pilot: The Pennsylvania and Colorado Expansion

Drawing from the experience and knowledge gained during the Phase 1 Pilot, MORE Care expanded to two new states, partnering with the Colorado Rural Health Center and the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health to support 17 rural primary care sites. The goal of Phase 2 was to further test oral health integration strategies and the development of dental referral networks in new environments of care to determine feasibility, challenges and successes.


Phase 3 Pilot: The Central Oregon Experience

DentaQuest’s MORE Care model will be adapted and tested in Central Oregon’s CCO (coordinated care organization) environment, where the health care landscape will allow for enhanced ability to establish an interoperative health information technology solution to facilitate interprofessional practice.

This unique opportunity will provide timely insight into how medical and dental programs are able to coordinate care effectively to improve health outcomes. DentaQuest continues to gain knowledge and expertise about how health information technology can play a role in improving health outcomes across health disciplines.