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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 15  |  Page : 36-40

Dental Public Health - A Journey Towards Excellence (A Review)

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Public health was defined in the Acheson report (1988) as the 'science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through organised community efforts.' Although the speciality of dental public health evolved from organized dentistry, the philosophy regarding development and implementation of dental programs to serve the public is often different between the two. There are four elements which are considered to be indispensable in dental public health's journey towards excellence. They are Dental Health Education, Dental Care Programs, Dental Care Centres, and Dental Research. Health education is fundamentally a learning process, which aims at favourably changing attitudes and influencing behaviour with respect to healthy practices. Dental health care programs are aimed at delivering dental treatments to the community especially in the rural areas where people have limited access. Primary dental care should be based on the model of primary health care where in dentists are located in primary health centres. Research encompasses a systemic work involving careful search for specific domains to unearth newer information or clarify conceptual puzzles. One may conclude that the time is favourable for effective and adequate programs for dental health to be developed and implemented.

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