Oral Exams in Primary Care

February 19, 2014
12:30 – 2pm

Behrakis Health Science Center

Maria C. Dolce cordially invites you to Conversations in Oral Health.


Dr. Romesh Nalliah
Senior Tutor, Office of Dental Education
Instructor, Office of Global & Community Health
Harvard School of Dental Medicine

Dr. Nalliah’s career focus is integrating oral health delivery into medical care to improve access to care. Dr. Nalliah is a dentist who focuses in public health and he is the lead architect for Inter-professional education in the Pre-doctoral Dental program at Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM). Dr. Nalliah leads two multidisciplinary care programs at a local community health centers. Dr. Nalliah believes in holistic care and has a strong research background, collaborative skills and significant experience in dental education. Dr. Nalliah has been an innovator in dental education and has presented at national and international medical and dental meetings. Dr. Nalliah’s research highlights the associations between general systemic health and oral health and the burden of oral disease in hospitals. Publications he envisioned and led were the first time nationwide data was used to highlight hospital resource use for managing dental caries, pulpal lesions, periapical lesions and general oral conditions in the United States. These studies, for the first time, identified comorbidities and showed the magnitude of dental problems presenting to the hospital room (rather than dental offices) using a nationwide dataset. Overall, Dr. Nalliah’s publications in peer reviewed journals have been cited 95 times between 2012 and 2014. Dr. Nalliah’s research demonstrates the importance of integrating oral health into medical practice and the need for physicians and dentists to collaborate on patient care. Additionally, Dr. Nalliah is widely involved in community outreach and has lead over 40 community service projects in the last 3 years which involve collaborations with nursing students, pharmacy students, physicians and medical students, school teachers, nutritionists, dentists and dental students, hygienists and hygiene students, social workers and students of social work. Finally, Dr. Nalliah is recognized as an institutional leader in education and the lead person in integrating interprofessional learning experiences into pre-doctoral dental education at HSDM.

Dr. Romesh Nalliah received his degree in dental surgery at the University of Adelaide, South Australia. He has worked in rural Australia, serving elderly persons in aged-care settings, children in underserved communities, inmates in correctional facilities, and Indigenous Australians. He also received training in project management at the University of Adelaide and managed a pediatric dental outreach program in rural Australia. He has been a business partner in a private practice in Mt. Barker (Australia) and a Clinical Assistant Professor at University of Adelaide School of Dentistry.

At Harvard, Dr. Nalliah is the Senior Tutor for the Castle Society and also has dual appointments in the Office of Dental Education and the Office of Global and Community Health. Dr Nalliah has published broadly on the efficiencies and inefficiencies of the healthcare delivery system in the United States. His research is the first time oral health
conditions were evaluated using a nationwide database and he has been invited to speak in various national and international settings.

Fields of Interest
Dr. Nalliah¹s area of interest is vulnerable populations and, in particular, individuals with special needs and the homeless. He has run numerous public health projects targeting these populations and delivered over $100,000 of free care.