In a health care system characterized by fragmentation and access inequities, interprofessional collaboration is regarded as an essential component of high quality and cost-effective health outcomes. The Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice were produced by an expert panel convened in 2009 by the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC). These competencies, which promote interprofessional, team-based, patient-centered care, can be used to guide curricula development at all health professions schools.
Oral health is the perfect platform for integrating interprofessional education across many different disciplines of health professional students. Gaps in access to oral health care and the related geographic, economic and racial/ethnic health disparities, coupled with gaps in oral health workforce capacity, suggest that an interprofessional approach to the delivery of oral health services using primary care providers may be an effective approach to reducing health disparities.