Poor oral health can have a negative impact on various systematic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Unfortunately the majority of the population are unaware of the impact of poor oral health on systemic health and seldom seek dental care. Oral health is also often neglected in general clinical practice and patient care in Australia. To address this it is now recommended that non -oral health professionals such as nurses, midwives and doctors play a more active role in promoting oral health among their patients. To facilitate this, South Western Sydney Local Health District Oral Health Service and the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Western Sydney University have formed the Centre for Oral Health Outcomes & Research Translation (COHORT); a new and innovative research centre affiliated with, and located within, the Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research.
COHORT is the first research centre of its kind in Australia and focuses on interdisciplinary oral health and capacity building and training non-oral health professionals and undergraduate students in providing oral health education, screening and referrals to their patients. We also work with government bodies/industry partners to change and improve clinical practice and develop evidence-based oral health promotion resources.