Oral Health Workforce and American Indian and Alaska Native Communities: a Systematic Review

J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2023 Jan 24. doi: 10.1007/s40615-023-01515-7. Online ahead of print.


Objective: Understanding the oral health workforce representing and serving American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities is vital to improving community dental health outcomes. No systematic review of recent published literature on the oral health workforce among this population has been completed.

Methods: We conducted a systematic review of published literature examining the oral health workforce representing and serving AI/AN communities in the USA. We analyzed 12 articles according to the PRISMA Statement.

Results: The studies suggested that AI/AN identity is an important aspect of routine and accessible oral healthcare. There are unique barriers and motivations that personnel in the oral health workforce face, let alone the distinctiveness of serving AI/AN communities.

Conclusions: This review provides evidence that expanded oral health positions aid in community members receiving more routine and preventative care and is an upstream public health approach that has diversified the dental workforce.

Keywords: American Indian/Alaska Native; Community dentistry; Oral epidemiology; Oral health.

Publication types

  • Review