Inside Dentistry offers an economic perspective on fixing the current health coverage model that separates the mouth from the rest of the body.

How the specialty of oral health developed separately from the rest of the medical system, says Donoff, dates back to the Gies Report in 1926. Its author, William Gies, proposed making dental school part of universities, which significantly raised standards beyond its previous trade-school status. But the report stopped short of true integration, setting the stage for dentistry’s separate status and development.

While this “siloization” of the profession enabled dentists to remain relatively aloof to health care developments, including regulation, it ultimately inhibited the profession’s ability to adhere to a system equivalent to that of medical practice, with its complex interwoven hospital affiliations and reimbursement methods.