A global oral health course: Isn't it time?

Asef Karim, Ana Karina Mascarenhas, Shafik Dharamsi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


This article examines current global oral health initiatives to underserved dental populations and assesses the level of familiarity with these initiatives among dental students. The World Health Organization (WHO)'s basic package of oral care (BPOC) is described, as well as successes and difficulties in global oral health initiatives. A survey was conducted of third-year dental students at a North American dental school to determine their familiarity with global oral health initiatives set out by the WHO and the World Dental Federation (FDI). The majority of the surveyed students (87 percent) expressed interest in volunteering their professional services in international settings. However, none of the surveyed students knew about the BPOC or the FDI's role in global oral health. The findings indicate that predoctoral dental public health courses in dental schools ought to include a course on global oral health to expose students to global oral health issues and equip them with interventions like the BPOC so they can provide better care to globally underserved dental populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1238-1246
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Dental Education
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2008


  • Basic package of oral care
  • Global oral health
  • International oral health
  • Primary oral health care
  • World Dental Federation (FDI)


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