Oral Health Promotion
and Disease Prevention


About this Course

In this course, students learn fundamental concepts of health promotion and disease prevention and its applications in dental public health.  Prevention of diseases at the population or community level and at the individual level are presented and compared. Emphasis is on assessment, health promotion and risk prevention related to oral health in the community. Epidemiology of caries, periodontal diseases, and oral cancer in the US is discussed and common dental indices to measure these oral diseases are addressed. Students’ explore strategies for prevention of these common oral diseases at the individual and community level including use of fluorides. Students will learn to apply pit-and-fissure sealants and fluoride varnish. Student activities are offered to stimulate discussion and deeper understanding of the complexities facing oral health and dental public health professionals.

Competencies Addressed:

  1. Assess risk for oral diseases and select appropriate, evidence-based preventive interventions and strategies to promote health and control oral diseases at the individual and population level

  2. Demonstrate the ability to access and describe the use of population-based health data for health promotion, patient care, and quality improvement

Course Objectives

At the completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Understand the role played by dental professionals in promoting the general health and well-being of their patients and their community.

  2. Explain the levels of prevention and the differences between the three levels of prevention.

  3. Define and distinguish between health promotion and health education

  4. Identify epidemiology, trends, etiology, risk factors, and common dental indices to measure oral diseases and conditions such as caries, periodontal diseases and oral cancer.

  5. Understand and describe oral disease prevention and its application at the community and individual levels

  6. Discuss the mechanism of action and role of fluoride, sealants, xylitol in the prevention of caries.

  7. Apply sealants and fluoride varnish




COURSE DEVELOPER: Dr. Ana Karina Mascarenhas


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Course content includes a PowerPoint Presentation, Instructor Guide, Syllabus, and other material.