Original Publication
Open Access

Integration of Oral Health and Primary Care Practice: An Interprofessional Approach

Published: October 27, 2015 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10252

Included in this publication:

  • Integration of Oral Health Intructor's Guide.doc
  • Simulation Set-up and Preparation.doc
  • Simulation Assignment.docx
  • Dental Mold Procedure.docx
  • Dentist Handout.pdf
  • SOAP Note Template.docx
  • Standardized Acting Rubric.docx
  • Role of the SLP.pdf
  • Debriefing Surveys.docx

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file.

Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


Introduction: The purpose of interprofessional oral health simulations is to promote the development of interprofessional oral health core clinical competencies. This is accomplished here through three team-based simulation case studies pairing dental and speech-language pathology (SLP) students towards the common goal of exchanging clinically relevant information to identify and implement appropriate care for patients, with the overarching goal being to improve oral health. Methods: SLP and dental students worked together to complete three simulations. These simulations covered (1) acute dental injury resulting in missing teeth, (2) ankyloglossia, and (3) tongue thrusting. Each simulation experience consisted of a standard actor and a 3-D dental mold representing the dental issue. The student pairs discussed what they saw in terms of the oral mechanism and combined this with the patient’s description to fully assess the client. Results: Students found this to be a valuable experience, albeit occasionally uncomfortable, as they worked together in teams for the first time to diagnose and treat clients. Students reported that they had never had this kind of experience before and that the experience improved their confidence as future clinicians. The oral health simulations were very effective. This information is based on feedback from the students and the standardized actors. Discussion: These simulations have been a valuable experience for both the undergraduate SLP students and the dental students. Although many of the students reported leaving the simulation feeling more confident of their clinical knowledge than they had been before, practicing a few clinical experiences in class in small groups would have been a beneficial presimulation background training. Additionally, while the standard actors were trained broadly on their dental issue and the case study, in retrospect everyone would have benefited from more-specific training regarding the dental and speech consequences of the case studies and appropriate treatment plans.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this session, learners will be able to:

  1. Exchange clinically relevant information through interprofessional teams to identify and implement appropriate care for patients, based on comprehensive evaluations.
  2. Apply interprofessional practice principles that lead to timely, efficient, and effective delivery of patient-centered oral health care.
  3. Promote an in-depth understanding of how dentistry and speech-language pathology both play a vital role in oral health and how one profession greatly influences the other.

Author Information

  • Emily Zimmerman, PhD, CCC-SLP: Northeastern University

None to report.

None to report.


Zimmerman E. Integration of oral health and primary care practice: an interprofessional approach. MedEdPORTAL. 2015;11:10252. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10252

This publication is co-sponsored by the American Dental Education Association.