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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 325-327

Use of geographic information system in dentistry

Department of Community and Family Medicine, AIIMS Rishikesh, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India

Date of Submission09-Jun-2020
Date of Acceptance12-Oct-2020
Date of Web Publication16-Dec-2020

Correspondence Address:
Jatin Chaudary
Department of Community and Family Medicine, AIIMS Rishikesh, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jiaphd.jiaphd_117_20

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How to cite this article:
Chaudary J. Use of geographic information system in dentistry. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent 2020;18:325-7

How to cite this URL:
Chaudary J. Use of geographic information system in dentistry. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent [serial online] 2020 [cited 2023 May 29];18:325-7. Available from: https://journals.lww.com/aphd/pages/default.aspx/text.asp?2020/18/4/325/303634

Dear Editor,

Geographic information systems (GISs) are computer-based tools used for the mapping and analysis of geographical data. The development of GIS and spatial analysis has helped in enhancing the accessibility of spatial data and in the study of epidemiology in a spatiotemporal dimension of the environment. GIS provides more insight into the understanding of the spatial distribution of patients affected by a certain disease by connecting individuals with the environment.[1]

It is interesting to explore the relationships between space and community health for a better understanding of the oral health/disease process. Geographic space is understood as an active environment, a receptor of social processes, and an activator of these processes. It is of fundamental importance to analyze the pattern of disproportion and spatial distribution of oral diseases for the allocation of resources to areas with the greatest social deprivation, leading to greater efforts to address the problems.

Among the emerging geoprocessing tools, GIS stands out as valuable technology in the exploration of the relationship of various oral diseases taking into account the hierarchy of complexity and multiple interactions between surroundings and individual. It provides with various spatial and network analysis tools to understand the locations where the problems occur with greater frequency and facilitate the process of planning, monitoring, and evaluation of oral health services.[2]

Recent studies show the use of GIS in epidemiological studies, providing important information with regard to the analysis of the geographic distribution of diseases; their associations with social, economic, and environmental factors; and pathogenic agents; as well as presenting the mechanisms of diseases. GIS-based studies are still infrequently used in public health, and even more rarely in dental studies in India. A more innovative approach using GIS should be used with proper training programs for dental professionals for observing the spatial distribution of oral diseases, as it can offer understanding, planning, monitoring, and allocation of health resources.[3]

[Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3] show the use of GIS to map the percentage of households using water with estimated fluoride levels (ppm) such as ≤1, between 1.01 and 1.50, and ≥1.51 above in different states and union territories using secondary data as provided by the National Oral Health Survey 2002–2003, India.[4] These choropleth maps were made using GIS software, ArcGIS 10.2.[5] It is easier to view the geographic distribution data such as the fluoride level data using such choropleth maps.
Figure 1: Percentage of the households using water with fluoride levels ≤1

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Figure 2: Percentage of the households using water with fluoride levels between 1.01 and 1.50

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Figure 3: Percentage of the households using water with fluoride levels ≥1.51

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Jeong B, Joo HT, Shin HS, Lim MH, Park JC. Geographic information system analysis on the distribution of patients visiting the periodontology department at a dental college hospital. J Periodontal Implant Sci 2016;46:207-17.  Back to cited text no. 1
Pereira SM, Ambrosano GM, Cortellazzi KL, Tagliaferro EP, Vettorazzi CA, Ferraz SF, et al. Geographic information systems (GIS) in assessing dental health. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2010;7:2423-36.  Back to cited text no. 2
Ruankaew N. GIS and epidemiology. J Med Assoc Thai 2005;88:1735-8.  Back to cited text no. 3
National Oral Health Survey Fluoride Mapping 2002-2003. p. 57. Available from: http://dciindia.gov.in/Download/Books/NOHSBOOK.pdf. [Last accessed on 2020 Jun 01].  Back to cited text no. 4
Wieczorek WF, Delmerico AM. Geographic Information Systems. Comput Stat 2009;1:167-86.  Back to cited text no. 5


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]


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