Medical-dental integration-achieving equity in periodontal and general healthcare in the Indian scenario

Lakshmi Puzhankara, Chandrashekar Janakiram

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Dentistry and medicine have been treated as separate entities by healthcare professionals as well as the populace since a long time. Although dentistry as a standalone entity has achieved considerable progress, there is a significant inequity in the accessibility, affordability, and acceptability of dental care among various socioeconomic strata in the community. Moreover, it is becoming increasingly evident that oral diseases and systemic diseases often share multiple risk factors. Management of oral and systemic diseases as distinct units often results in duplication of care and wastage of resources. This paper gives information on the models of medical-dental integration and possible methods for integrating the same into Indian healthcare scenario. Materials and Methods: A literature search was performed in PubMed/MEDLINE, CINAHL, Web of Science, and Google Scholar for articles pertaining to medical-dental integration. The data obtained were collated. Results: Literatures show that different modalities for medical-dental integration are in practice. However, there is a paucity in conceptual models that may be applied to bring about such an integration into the Indian healthcare system. Conclusion: Integration of medical and dental care would pave the way for equity in health care for everyone. Conceptual models for integrating oral disease surveillance into systemic disease have been proposed in this paper.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-366
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of International Society of Preventive and Community Dentistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01-07-2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dentistry(all)


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