The science base in oral health has been evolving at a staggering pace over the past half century. Initial research in this area was primarily in the basic sciences, investigating mechanisms of normal development and pathology in relation to dental caries and periodontal diseases.
Prevention research has included controlled clinical studies, with and without randomization, as well as community trials and demonstration research.
More recent research has broadened the science base to include studies of craniofacial diseases and disorders and is moving from basic science to translational, clinical, and health services research.
The clinical literature in the oral health sciences includes the full range of studies, from randomized controlled studies to case studies.
This discussion centres on five major questions, which have been used to structure it into five similar parts.
- What Is Oral Health?
- What Is the Status of Oral Health?
- What Is the Relationship Between Oral Health and General Health and Well-being?
- How Is Oral Health Promoted and Maintained and How Are Oral Diseases Prevented?
- What Are the Needs and Opportunities to Enhance Oral Health?
Finally, we will summarize the major findings of the various source reports and suggests actions to guide the next steps in enhancing the oral health of the nation. The need for partnerships between public and private sectors in carrying out a proposed National Oral Health Plan is emphasized.
To ensure progress, these partnerships need to include individual patients and the general public and to reflect all population groups in the nation. All the health care disciplines need to be involved, along with industry, academia, and government, as well as health care organizations, health professional associations, and patient groups.
United by the evidence that oral health is essential to general health and well-being, the combined forces and collective wisdom of all interested parties and stakeholders can make optimal oral health a reality for all people.
Do you agree with my summation of oral health? Have you got ideas of your own on the future of oral health study?
If you’ve got anything to add to the discussion, I welcome you to leave a comment here or get in touch on my social media accounts:
Image courtesyof: JS Creationzs