Principles in
Dental Public Health


About this Course

This course is designed to introduce the first or second year dental or hygiene students to the core principles of Dental Public Health, and its application to population-based oral health. Differences in the roles of a private dental practitioner and a dental public health specialist are addressed. Students will learn the importance of core public health functions, and different public health and dental public health achievements in the US. Disparities in oral health status and access to dental care among underserved minority population will be highlighted. A brief overview of different dental care delivery systems in the U.S., and the importance of other dental and non-dental workforce models in improving access to dental care are also discussed

Competencies Addressed:

  1. Describe social and health care systems and determinants of health and their impact on the oral health of the individual and population

  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. Identify and describe the principles of public health as it relates to oral health and the dental professional.

  2. Describe the public health and dental public health achievements in the US.

  3. Describe the oral health status and needs of the US population, including underserved, and minority population.

  4. Describe the dental disease trends among various populations.

  5. Identify and explain determinants associated with access and utilization of dental care services.

  6. Recognize the roles of public, private, professional and voluntary organizations in promoting oral health, and the delivery of dental health care services.

  7. Describe and differentiate between different oral health workforce models.




COURSE DEVELOPER: Dr. Vinodh Bhoopathi

COURSE CONTRIBUTORS: Dr. Woosung Sohn, Dr. Susan Reed, Karen Yoder, Diane Brunson, Robin Knowles, Dr. Ana Karina Mascarenhas, Dr. Kathryn Atchison


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