Skip to main content
Home » Oral Health » Certified PAs: Caring for Smiles
Oral Health

Certified PAs: Caring for Smiles

Quality dental care doesn’t always come in the form of a dentist. Certified Physician Assistants (PA) do a lot of the heavy lifting early on.


Dawn Morton-Rias, Ed. D., PA-C

President and CEO, NCCPA and nccPA Health Foundation

Certified physician assistants (PAs) care for the whole patient.

The mouth is a window into the body.  So, if your teeth and gums aren’t well, it will be hard for the rest of you to stay healthy. These people are your partners, ready to intervene before oral health issues turn into overall health concerns.

The 131,000 PAs certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) are educated to address how oral disease can affect chronic conditions, like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and educate patients about the importance of oral self-care. By illuminating the links between oral and whole-body health, they can help ensure both. 

Why the need for Certified PAs

Certified PAs expand access to quality dental and preventative oral health care by providing frontline screening, risk assessment, counseling services, and referrals. These offerings are especially important for the nearly 58 million people in the United States who live in areas where it is difficult to access care. 

These professionals also bridge the gaps in access to care for more than 473 million patient visits annually. They are often the first to identify and treat oral and other health issues.  So when your certified PA says, “Open wide,” they are ready to help. 

Next article