Managing Dental Emergencies through Collaborative Care

Principal Investigator(s)

Rosemary L. Hoffmann, PhD, RN


  • Nina Markovic, BSDH, MS, PhD
  • Jean A. O'Donnell, BSN, MSN, DMD

Patients with dental emergencies often seek care in non-dental settings such as hospital emergency departments or primary care settings. Providers in these settings traditionally receive limited training to assess and treat dental emergencies.  A program pairing non-dental and dental students in an outpatient dental emergency clinic provides an opportunity for students to assess coordinated oral and systemic health needs.   

Students work together for a two-week rotation in the School of Dental Medicine Emergency Clinic. Student pairs assess and develop strategies for addressing patients’ oral and general health care needs. Strategies included emergency dental care as well as education related to health promotion, medication compliance, and options for follow-up care. At the end of each week, faculty members join with the students for case study report presentations and discussions.  During these discussions, students are encouraged to share what they leaned, related to working as peers on an interprofessional team.

Participation in the program is offered during the fall and spring terms.  The program can accommodate as many as 4 students from other health professional schools and 8 dental students monthly.  The rotation can range between two to 4 half day sessions per week.  Students who want to volunteer for program consideration, or want more information may contact faculty listed below.   Students from the health professional sciences are encouraged to apply. 

Students in this rotation find it to be useful for gaining an understanding of oral health emergencies, developing interprofessional communication skills, gaining greater apperception of the interactions between systemic and oral health and the need for interprofessional care coordination.