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Dental Economics: How—and why—you should integrate mental health support into the dental practice

By: Daniel W. Croley, DMD, Vice President and Chief Dental Officer at Delta Dental of California and Affiliates

Dental Economics - There's a substantial link between oral and mental health, and dental professionals often undervalue their unique position to provide more holistic care that can improve their patients’ overall health and well-being, in addition to addressing mental health barriers to oral health self-care. With as many as 27 million patients seeing a dentist every year but forgoing doctor visits, dentists often serve as a main entry point to the health-care system.

As emphasis grows on integrating patient care and providing a more holistic health-care experience across mental, physical, and oral health, dentists and hygienists can serve an integral role in providing education and resources on whole-person health.

However, some may not be confident in their role as it relates to mental health. And many still aren’t well integrated into the referral networks and community resources more traditionally associated with addressing mental health. Still, we have the power to take proactive steps to bridge this gap.

Read Dr. Daniel W. Croley’s full article in Dental Economics.