Improving Diabetes Prevention and Management

Project Title

Primary Care in the Dental Office: The Case for Diabetes Mellitus

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Improving Diabetes Prevention and Management

Date Awarded

October 13, 2014







Diabetes management requires patient compliance and professional monitoring, which cannot always be performed solely by physicians and requires the integration of primary care in other health care settings—including dentists’ offices.

Studies have been published demonstrating that point-of-care testing for diabetes in the dental setting can identify patients with previously undiagnosed prediabetes or diabetes. In addition, studies have indicated that dental findings can be used to identify between 75% and 92% or individuals with diabetes or prediabetes. NYHealth has previously funded research to develop a definition of screening algorithms to enhance the number of patients seen in the dental office with previously undiagnosed diabetes or prediabetes. In 2014, NYHealth awarded Columbia University a grant to further develop the role and rationale of primary care screening in dental offices; identify barriers to screening; and provide recommendations for policymakers.

Under this grant, Columbia University examined the introduction of primary health care screenings in the dental office with the main focus on diabetes. Specifically, Columbia University conducted a comprehensive review of the literature and hosted a discussion at a roundtable of stakeholders, including health care providers and representatives from New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York State Department of Health, and the insurance industry. Columbia University published the findings in a report to make policymakers aware of the benefits of expanding health prevention activities outside of primary care physicians’ offices into other health care settings. The report also contains the necessary policy and regulatory changes to promote clinical adoption of those activities.

Read the policy brief, “Diabetes Screening and Monitoring in the Dental Office.”