How dental care can preserve and improve oral health

Dent Clin North Am. 2009 Jul;53(3):399-420. doi: 10.1016/j.cden.2009.03.011.


Oral health is associated with overall health, and lack of access to dental care has consequences that go far beyond aesthetics. Most oral diseases are preventable and are relatively easy and inexpensive to address at early stages. However, multiple barriers make dental care unreachable for a sizable portion of the United States population, who consequently has higher incidence and prevalence of disease. Achieving meaningful improvements in oral health status among these groups will require a revamping of the dental infrastructure, augmenting the productivity and skills of the dental workforce, and increasing the population's oral health literacy.

MeSH terms

  • Dental Care / economics*
  • Dental Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Dental Caries / prevention & control
  • Dentistry*
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Health Status
  • Healthcare Disparities
  • Humans
  • Mouth Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Oral Health*
  • Periodontal Diseases / prevention & control
  • Public Health Dentistry / organization & administration
  • Quality of Life
  • United States
  • Vulnerable Populations
  • Workforce