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Team approach to primary care includes dentists

Photo: Residency director Peter Jensen performs an exam on a patient
Residency director Peter Jensen performs an examination.

By Luke Frank
HSC NewBeat

Poor oral health has been linked to a host of health woes, such as heart disease and diabetes, yet too many New Mexicans fail to receive routine preventive dental care. UNM and community health providers have teamed up to address this problem by incorporating oral health into a team-based primary care setting.

Patients receiving an exam at the El Pueblo Health Services Clinic in Bernalillo, NM, are seen by a primary care physician, a dentist and a nurse practitioner, says Dr. Peter Jensen, director of UNM’s Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency program. "We're finding it's a good dynamic to have all of the practitioners in the room," Jensen says. "We're really starting to feed off one another as we focus on wellness checks for diabetics, pregnant moms and kids."

The program, implemented with the help of a grant and faculty from the College of Nursing and the School of Medicine's Department of Dental Medicine, relies on CAMBRA (Carries Management by Risk Assessment), a tool dentists use to assess cavity and gum disease risk. Read more (HSC NewsBeat).


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