Title of Abstract

The Impact of the Medical-Dental Divide on Vulnerable Populations

Submitting Student(s)

Jeylinn Lopez

Session Title

Vulnerable Populations 2

Faculty Sponsor (for work done with a non-Winthrop mentor)

Ginger Williams, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Interdisciplinary Studies

Abstract

Since the beginning of U.S healthcare infrastructure, oral health has been excluded from receiving the same priority as general health programs and initiatives. This separation impacts vulnerable populations who rely on government funded health programs and initiatives. The aim of this topic is to systematically analyze dentistry using an interdisciplinary approach that considers the historical oral-general health care separation, its impacts on oral health access for low-socioeconomic communities, and the potential for oral health education to aid in increased access. A sociological perspective is used to offer insight into the interwoven relationships of what shapes a community and aids in the understanding of how a community’s oral health can be improved. Healthcare policy is a major influence in determining who receives oral health service and to what extent. Analysis of current policies helps us understand the gaps between general health and oral health coverage for services. The discipline of education is used to explore its impact on low-socioeconomic communities where oral health education is minimal or not present and shaped by sociological and political factors. The systematic divide between oral health and general health care services significantly reduces the oral health quality of low-socioeconomic communities results in high rates of periodontal disease, high rates of caries in children, and inadequate health practices.

Start Date

15-4-2022 12:00 PM

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Apr 15th, 12:00 PM

The Impact of the Medical-Dental Divide on Vulnerable Populations

Since the beginning of U.S healthcare infrastructure, oral health has been excluded from receiving the same priority as general health programs and initiatives. This separation impacts vulnerable populations who rely on government funded health programs and initiatives. The aim of this topic is to systematically analyze dentistry using an interdisciplinary approach that considers the historical oral-general health care separation, its impacts on oral health access for low-socioeconomic communities, and the potential for oral health education to aid in increased access. A sociological perspective is used to offer insight into the interwoven relationships of what shapes a community and aids in the understanding of how a community’s oral health can be improved. Healthcare policy is a major influence in determining who receives oral health service and to what extent. Analysis of current policies helps us understand the gaps between general health and oral health coverage for services. The discipline of education is used to explore its impact on low-socioeconomic communities where oral health education is minimal or not present and shaped by sociological and political factors. The systematic divide between oral health and general health care services significantly reduces the oral health quality of low-socioeconomic communities results in high rates of periodontal disease, high rates of caries in children, and inadequate health practices.