Module 2: Rural Oral Health Program Models
This section provides information and resources about different rural oral health program models.
To learn how to identify and adapt interventions, see Developing
a Rural Community Health Program in the Rural Community Health Toolkit.
Rural communities are implementing different oral health program models. The program models are not mutually
exclusive. Some programs may apply a combination of these approaches.
- Workforce Model
Workforce models focus on recruiting and retaining dental professionals in rural areas.
- Allied Health Professional Model
The allied health professional model focuses on the different roles that these professionals play, such as
providing dental care, education services, and referral, screening, and support services.
- Outreach and Education Model
Rural communities are developing community-based outreach and education programs to expand access to oral
- Oral Health-Primary Care Integration and
Rural communities are working to integrate oral health and primary care and improve collaboration.
- School-Based Model
Rural communities are implementing school-based oral health programs that provide fluoride varnish and
- Dental Clinic Model
Rural oral health programs can develop dental clinics that provide safety net care to individuals in order
to increase access to care and reduce reliance on emergency services.
- Mobile Dental Services Model
The mobile dental services model focuses on providing access to dental care, preventive healthcare, and
chronic disease screening and management services.
- Dental Home Model
The dental home model emphasizes wellness through improved oral health status, increased collaboration among
providers, and the promotion of health education for adults and children.
- Enrollment, Navigation, and Referral
In this model, rural communities seek to expand access to oral health services through helping people sign
up for and use available dental coverage.
- Community Water Fluoridation Model
Community water fluoridation is a model public health intervention used to prevent tooth decay.
- Teledentistry Model
Teledentistry uses a telehealth model to improve access to oral healthcare.