Background. A landmark report from the U.S. surgeon general identified disparities in oral health care as an urgent and high-priority problem. A parallel development in the dental education community is the growing consensus that significant curriculum reform is long overdue. Methods. The authors performed a literature review and conducted a series of structured interviews with key institutional and community stakeholders from seven geographical regions of the United States. They investigated a wide range of partnerships between community-based dental clinics and academic dental institutions. Results. On the basis of their interviews and literature review, the authors identified common themes and made recommendations to the dental community to improve access to care while enhancing the dental curriculum. Conclusions. Reducing disparities in access to oral health care and the need for reform of the dental curriculum may be addressed, in part, by a common solution: strategic partnerships between academic dental institutions and communities. Practice Implications. Organized dentistry and individual practitioners, along with other major stakeholders, can play a significant role in supporting reform of the dental curriculum and improving access to care.
- Access to care
- Dental curriculum
- Disparities in oral health care
ASJC Scopus subject areas