Presented at the Three Rivers Dental Conference at Nemacolin Woodlands
Thursday, November 7, 2024
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Interprofessional Collaboration Between Dentistry and Nursing: Better Oral Care, Better Health

1 Credit Hour

There is growing evidence linking poor oral heath, primarily periodontal disease and systemic disease including diabetes, Alzheimer, rheumatoid arthritis, and a host of cardiovascular, renal, and pulmonary conditions.  These oral-systemic links are multifaceted and complex.  This updated understanding of the link between dental and systemic health warrants exploring models of care that engage dental experts in treatment decisions and medical policy making.  We introduce a model integrating nursing and dental care in the inpatient health care setting with a focus on the reduction in hospital associated pneumonia.  This model includes a nursing and dental approach to oral care equipment selection, training nurses to provide oral care and the development of standards of practice for oral care in the inpatient setting.  The discussion will include a description of setting up the joint service and mechanisms that support ongoing decision making.  The discussion will provide a view of the model at the leadership and direct patient care setting levels. Actual training tools, policies and outcome measurement will be displayed to enhance discussion.

Course Objectives:

  • Describe the relationship between inpatient oral care and hospital associated pneumonia
  • Discuss the role of evidence review and dental expert opinion in the development nursing policy and procedure related to oral care
  • Discuss dental, speech therapy and nursing leadership training for oral care in high-risk populations
  • Describe the role of dental advisor to a nursing community of practice supporting oral care interventions

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dr michael ribera


Dr. Michelle A Lucatorto DNP FNP- BC

Dr. Lucatorto is a retired nurse practitioner. She began her career as an intensive care unit nurse. After earning a master’s degree as a Neuroscience Clinical Nurse Specialist, she had oversight for training and clinical care for a neuroscience ICU, stroke unit and an orthopedic surgery unit. She then earned a master’s degree as a Family Health Nurse Practitioner and held a joint clinical position in a University of Pittsburgh Internal Medicine Practice and a professor in the School of Nursing. Dr. Lucatorto joined the Veterans Health Administration in 2006 and held Quality Management and Data Analytic positions while maintaining a clinical practice. She earned a doctorate in nursing in 2010. She retired in 2024 from the position of National Associate Director of Nursing Analytics. Over the years, Dr. Lucatorto has earned many awards including the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses “Article of the Year” in the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing. She was awarded the outstanding NP student for her class at the University of Pittsburgh. While practicing as an NP at the University of Pittsburgh, she received many awards for high quality clinical practice including the prestigious Gold Star of Carew Award. Dr. Lucatorto was served as Principal Investigator and Coinvestigation in several studies and has numerous peer reviewed publications. During her career she was active in the American Association of Nurses, and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners serving on committees and presenting at conferences. Dr. Lucatorto has designed data dashboards, created quality measures, contributed submissions for additional SNO MED Terminology and implemented national evidence-based initiatives. Dr. Lucatorto can be found running, hiking, biking knitting, reading, petting her loving dog Betty, and spending time with family and friends.

Dr. Lucatorto was responsible for the national implementation of an ADA endorsed oral care initiative which focuses on the delivery of daily oral hygiene to inpatients by nurses. The key to the success of the program is the collaboration of nursing and dental services in the VA.

Dr. Lucatorto has no financial relationships relevant to this presentation to disclose.

Dental Society of Western PA is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider Approved by Pennsylvania Dental Association.
ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.
Dental Society of Western PA designates this activity for 6 continuing education credits.