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Rural Health Information Hub

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 healthcare.
  • Oral Health-Primary Care Integration and Collaboration Model
    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 sealants.
  • 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 Model
    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.