Research Topic

Integrating Oral and Systemic Health: Innovations in Transdisciplinary Science, Health Care and Policy

About this Research Topic

Dental-oral-craniofacial (DOC) concerns are not well-integrated into general health in research, clinical practice, professional development/health literacy, health system structures or health policies. This state of affairs is due to the historic separation of medicine and dentistry, and has had far-reaching effects. In the research arena this has resulted in a lack of understanding of regulators of DOC tissues in various conditions and diseases across the life span. In the public sphere it has led to an undervaluing of oral health within healthcare systems, educational agendas and public policy.

Integrated scientific approaches can lead to novel insights and clinical applications. For example, specific differences in wound healing between oral tissues and skin led to the identification of specific genes related to speed of healing; osteonecrosis of the jaw related to antiresorptive medications revealed different aspects of bone metabolism and the need for clinicians to obtain a complete oral evaluation before starting such therapies; microbiome profiles for oral diseases, GI cancers and Alzheimer’s disease advanced understanding of both common and diverse risk factors associated with certain disease states. An integrated health system study revealed that having nurses deliver oral hygiene to patients in the U.S. Veteran’s Administration Hospitals resulted in lower rates of non-ventilator-associated hospital acquired pneumonia (NVHAP) and substantial cost savings. An increasingly common insurance company strategy is to provide periodontal therapy for patients with diabetes to improve overall health outcomes, although continued rigorous studies into mechanisms and specific outcomes are needed.

The goal of this Research Proposal is to accelerate integration of oral/dental health into overall health across the health enterprise. Articles will be featured that demonstrate the value of transdisciplinary approaches to generate new knowledge and stimulate research; improve clinical care and patient outcomes; transform health care delivery models and professional development; and advance health literacy and public policy related to oral health.

The Research Topic Proposal has two major areas of focus: 1) systems biology including but not limited to basic research and clinical case reports; and 2) health system studies and policy, to include but not limited to health system integration strategies, innovative workforce models/curricula, supportive health policies, tools and technologies (e.g., integrated electronic health records, machine learning, etc.).

Please note that you will need to choose from a journal (both Frontiers in Dental Medicine and Frontiers in Oral Health are hosting this Call for Papers) and discipline upon submission. If the scope of your submission does not seem to fit any of these, please select the most suitable discipline and the Editors will determine the best placement and appropriate reviewers.

Clinical cases: Please include the general items required by Frontiers for case reports. Note no more than 3000 words. A separate document with the following checklist must be uploaded even if your actual case report follows a different format (See guidelines here). In addition, consider including specific points related to this Topic, as noted below. We encourage you to contact the Editorial Office (dentalmedicine@frontiersin.org) if you have any concerns with the outline you are planning for your manuscript.

Introduction/Background: Set the stage including the past and current knowledge related to your topic and how the results inform the current situation.
History: Provide medical and dental history including social determinants; genetic information; imaging methods and/or tools and technology utilized; microbial data and diagnosis; treatment if any and oral and general health outcomes.
Results/Discussion: Provide a systems level approach if possible, highlighting how information obtained from interrogating the DOC region, integrated with other data, advanced our knowledge of the disease/condition(s) or revealed basic mechanisms; suggested new directions for research; and/or contributed to evidence-based diagnosis, treatment, etc. Focus on importance of interactions across the broad array of systems and how this integrative approach at the bench and/or clinically led to improved patient outcomes, new policies, and/or novel training approaches.
Cost-Benefit Issues: Discuss how your findings, and a systems-based, integrated approach, can affect quality and cost of treatment now and/or in the future
Conclusion: A few sentences that feature the impact/value of integration in improving health outcomes

Health system / policy cases, using a comparable outline to that above, should describe the problem or specific integration goal(s) of the efforts, administrative strategies employed and results including benefits to patient outcomes, professional development/health literacy, costs of care or other quality improvements.

Types of manuscripts: We are seeking short research articles from diverse perspectives demonstrating the impact of integrated approaches to include basic research, clinical case reports, health system cases, curriculum development/ training, methods, tools and technologies. See types B-C


Keywords: Integration, Dentistry, Medicine, Case Reports, Health Systems


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Dental-oral-craniofacial (DOC) concerns are not well-integrated into general health in research, clinical practice, professional development/health literacy, health system structures or health policies. This state of affairs is due to the historic separation of medicine and dentistry, and has had far-reaching effects. In the research arena this has resulted in a lack of understanding of regulators of DOC tissues in various conditions and diseases across the life span. In the public sphere it has led to an undervaluing of oral health within healthcare systems, educational agendas and public policy.

Integrated scientific approaches can lead to novel insights and clinical applications. For example, specific differences in wound healing between oral tissues and skin led to the identification of specific genes related to speed of healing; osteonecrosis of the jaw related to antiresorptive medications revealed different aspects of bone metabolism and the need for clinicians to obtain a complete oral evaluation before starting such therapies; microbiome profiles for oral diseases, GI cancers and Alzheimer’s disease advanced understanding of both common and diverse risk factors associated with certain disease states. An integrated health system study revealed that having nurses deliver oral hygiene to patients in the U.S. Veteran’s Administration Hospitals resulted in lower rates of non-ventilator-associated hospital acquired pneumonia (NVHAP) and substantial cost savings. An increasingly common insurance company strategy is to provide periodontal therapy for patients with diabetes to improve overall health outcomes, although continued rigorous studies into mechanisms and specific outcomes are needed.

The goal of this Research Proposal is to accelerate integration of oral/dental health into overall health across the health enterprise. Articles will be featured that demonstrate the value of transdisciplinary approaches to generate new knowledge and stimulate research; improve clinical care and patient outcomes; transform health care delivery models and professional development; and advance health literacy and public policy related to oral health.

The Research Topic Proposal has two major areas of focus: 1) systems biology including but not limited to basic research and clinical case reports; and 2) health system studies and policy, to include but not limited to health system integration strategies, innovative workforce models/curricula, supportive health policies, tools and technologies (e.g., integrated electronic health records, machine learning, etc.).

Please note that you will need to choose from a journal (both Frontiers in Dental Medicine and Frontiers in Oral Health are hosting this Call for Papers) and discipline upon submission. If the scope of your submission does not seem to fit any of these, please select the most suitable discipline and the Editors will determine the best placement and appropriate reviewers.

Clinical cases: Please include the general items required by Frontiers for case reports. Note no more than 3000 words. A separate document with the following checklist must be uploaded even if your actual case report follows a different format (See guidelines here). In addition, consider including specific points related to this Topic, as noted below. We encourage you to contact the Editorial Office (dentalmedicine@frontiersin.org) if you have any concerns with the outline you are planning for your manuscript.

Introduction/Background: Set the stage including the past and current knowledge related to your topic and how the results inform the current situation.
History: Provide medical and dental history including social determinants; genetic information; imaging methods and/or tools and technology utilized; microbial data and diagnosis; treatment if any and oral and general health outcomes.
Results/Discussion: Provide a systems level approach if possible, highlighting how information obtained from interrogating the DOC region, integrated with other data, advanced our knowledge of the disease/condition(s) or revealed basic mechanisms; suggested new directions for research; and/or contributed to evidence-based diagnosis, treatment, etc. Focus on importance of interactions across the broad array of systems and how this integrative approach at the bench and/or clinically led to improved patient outcomes, new policies, and/or novel training approaches.
Cost-Benefit Issues: Discuss how your findings, and a systems-based, integrated approach, can affect quality and cost of treatment now and/or in the future
Conclusion: A few sentences that feature the impact/value of integration in improving health outcomes

Health system / policy cases, using a comparable outline to that above, should describe the problem or specific integration goal(s) of the efforts, administrative strategies employed and results including benefits to patient outcomes, professional development/health literacy, costs of care or other quality improvements.

Types of manuscripts: We are seeking short research articles from diverse perspectives demonstrating the impact of integrated approaches to include basic research, clinical case reports, health system cases, curriculum development/ training, methods, tools and technologies. See types B-C


Keywords: Integration, Dentistry, Medicine, Case Reports, Health Systems


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 November 2020 Abstract
28 February 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 November 2020 Abstract
28 February 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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