The NIH Oral Health in America: Advances and Challenges report is the most recent evidence-based review of the status of oral health in North America since Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General, which was published in 2000. This article aims to synthesize and discuss information from the report pertinent to improving dental education to positively impact oral health. Calls for action and suggestions for implementation are presented.
The authors reviewed each section from the report and identified key messages relevant to dental education. These were then combined into a framework based on the NIH report's three main "call to action" items. A matrix for calls to action and implementation recommendations was developed using the findings from the 2021 NIH report and a previous 2018 report on Advancing Dental Education in the 21st Century.
The information discussed in the report related to dental education has the potential to improve oral health, and educators, schools, professional organizations, state, and federal agencies are called to develop and/or implement action plans focused on curriculum, competencies, workshops, guidelines, and policies based on the summary framework presented in this study.