Epidemiology is considered the cornerstone of public health because it helps public health officials to come up with policies that target preventive healthcare. Moreover, epidemiology is important in public health because it helps in the study and analysis of defined conditions. This paper will explore the benefits of epidemiology in the dental public health field and for oral health professions. The paper will also discuss how epidemiology can be utilized in dental public health (Veiga & Coelho, 2015).
Importance of epidemiology in the dental public health field
Dental public health is a significant model for identifying, studying, and analyzing patterns in dental caries and periodontal diseases, among others. Therefore, epidemiological studies help in identifying as well as monitoring the prevalence of dental diseases among people of various age groups. Moreover, epidemiological studies also enhance the monitoring of dental ailments among different geographical groups (Nalabolu, Mohiddin, Hiremath, Manyam, Bharath, & Raju, 2016). In addition, epidemiology helps in providing new treatment perspectives for dental ailments. Moreover, epidemiology has the advantage of conferring predictive significance to clinical data. This can be essential in implementing precautionary strategies to minimize the occurrences of dental issues. In essence, epidemiology is highly significant in dental public health because it promotes the development of preventive strategies in dental healthcare (Nalabolu et al., 2016).
Importance of epidemiology for oral health professions
Epidemiology is essential for oral health professions because it enables conducting of epidemiological studies on various age groups of populations around the globe. Epidemiology provides oral health professionals with data on the prevalence, incidences, and trends of dental problems among populations in a given setting, time, or socioeconomics (Trohel, Bertaud-Gounot, Soler, Chauvin, & Grimaud, 2016). Furthermore, dental professionals can derive useful information from epidemiological studies to create new treatment or preventive measures targeting the affected group. In essence, epidemiology helps oral professionals to identify populations that are most likely to be exposed to oral diseases. Moreover, it provides information on the population that requires given dental care (Trohel et al., 2016).
How epidemiology can be used in dental public health
Dental public health emphasizes oral health problems experienced in communities as well as populations. This involves oral health surveillance and population-based health research. Additionally, dental public health is also concerned with community-based disease prevention. Considerably, epidemiology is very useful in the areas in that dental public health is concerned. Specifically, epidemiology is concerned with people as opposed to clinical medicine, which is concerned with the individual. It should also be noted that epidemiology is concerned with the etiology, occurrences, history, and interventions for the disease. Moreover, epidemiology is concerned with the creation of policies as well as modifiable factors for the disease. These functions are central to dental public health activities. Therefore, epidemiology works to support dental public health because it offers models required for disease prevention and intervention. Epidemiology can also be used for community diagnosis of the presence of dental disease in dental public health. Moreover, it can be used to establish the causes of dental diseases in dental public health. Essentially, epidemiology is useful in dental public health (Grembowski, Spiekerman, & Milgrom, 2009).
Example of an important policy, program, or research project that is based on dental epidemiology
Health Resources and Services Administration [HRSA] has introduced a program to address the disparities in oral health as well as access to dental care. The agency supports programs that are aimed at expanding the workforce as well as encouraging practitioners to provide caregiving for underserved populations. One such program is the integration of oral health with primary care practice. This program has improved access to oral health. Moreover, it has prompted early detection, prevention, and interventions thereby improving dental health competency for professionals in primary care (HRSA, 2016).
Grembowski, D., Spiekerman, C., & Milgrom, P. (2009). Linking mother access to dental care and child oral health. Community Dental Oral Epidemiol, 37(5), 881-390. Web.
Health Resources and Services Administration [HRSA]. (2016). Oral health workforce. Web.
Nalabolu, G., Mohiddin, A., Hiremath, S., Manyam, R., Bharath, T., & Raju, P. (2016). Epidemiological study of odontogenic tumours: An institutional experience. Journal of Infection and Public Health, 341(16), 30071-30075. Web.
Trohel, G., Bertaud-Gounot, V., Soler, M., Chauvin, P., & Grimaud, O. (2016). Socio-Economic determinants of the need for dental care in adults. PLoS One, 11(7), 1-4. Web.
Veiga, N., & Coelho, I. (2015). The importance of epidemiology in dental medicine. Journal of Dental and Oral Health, 1(4), 20-21.