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Dental Public Health

Dental Public Health/Public Health Dentistry/Community Dentistry is a specialized discipline in Dentistry defined as the science and art of promoting oral health, preventing and controlling oral diseases aimed at enhancing quality of life of people by concerted, organized effort. 

Dental Public Health care provision predominantly targets populations/population groups to cater to their oral health needs compared to individual persons who obtain dental care services on demand. As almost all oral diseases such as dental caries, periodontal disease and ora l cancer which are considered as public health problems in Sri Lanka are preventable and controllable by evidence-based cost effective strategies.

Dental Public Health becomes an important discipline helpful to improve oral health status of Sri Lankans as well as to reduce the colossal dental care cost of the health budget. There are Dental Public Health Services provided both at National and Regional Level closely integrated to existing Public Health Infrastructure in Sri Lanka.


National Level

  • Oral Health Unit of Family Health Bureau: plan, implement, monitor and coordinates the National Program of Oral Health Care to pregnant mothers and School Dental Services.
  • Oral Health Unit of Health Education Bureau: plan, implement and coordinate oral health communication strategies, production of oral health education material.
  • Oral Health Unit of National Cancer Control Programme: Plan, implement, monitor and evaluate the national oral cancer control programme
  • Dental Therapist Training School Maharagama: Training Institution for School Dental Therapists
  • Research & surveillance Division- Institute of Oral Health Maharagama
  • Training Division- IOH, Maharagama: Conducting in-service training programmes for all categories of oral health care providers

Clinical Dental Public Health Units

Dental Public Health Units at Dental Institute, Colombo and Institute of Oral Health Maharagama are the two specialized units affiliated to tertiary dental care hospitals.

 Services available:

  • Preventive Dental Clinic for children at high risk for dental caries:
  • Behavioural management
  • Dietary Counseling
  • Oral Hygiene improvement
  • Professional Fluoride Application
  • Fissure Sealant
  • Simple fillings
  • Preventive Dental Clinic for pregnant mothers (at IOH Maharagama)
  • Conducting community based oral health programmes for special target groups such as preschool children, school children, antenatal mothers, older adults, occupational groups and screening for oral diseases
  • Conducting Epidemiological and operational research

 

Regional Level:

  • School Dental Clinics: School Dental Therapists providing basic oral health care and oral health promotion for children aged 3-13 years
  • Adolescent Dental Clinics: Dental Surgeons providing oral health care and oral health promotion for all age groups
  • Community Dental Clinics: Dental Surgeons providing oral health care and oral health promotion for all age groups
  • MOH offices with Dental Surgeons: oral health promotion and screening for oral diseases among special target groups such as pregnant mothers, oral cancer prevention activities etc.

 

Contributions

1. Preventive Oral Health Unit - Institute of Oral Health, Maharagama

2. Community Dental Unit, Dental Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka


b)  Community Dental Unit, Dental Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka ( Malmo University , Web page on the Community Dental Unit, Dental Institute, Colombo)