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Academic Leadership Journal

Abstract

The dental public health field has been expanding in scope & complexity with more emphasis being placed on the total dental care delivery system and its impact on oral health status. A broadly accepted definition of “dental public health” has been given by Downer 1994: “The science and art of preventing oral disease, promoting oral health and improving quality of life through the organized efforts of society” (Downer et al,1994). A broader definition was made ten years later as follows: “The science and art of preventing oral disease, promoting oral health and improving quality of life through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals” (Pine & Harris 2007). The purpose of an oral health care system is to influence the population’s way of life so that oral health is promoted or maintained and oral disease prevented; and to promote adequate treatment to those members of the population affected by oral disease so that disease is arrested at an early stage and loss of function is prevented. These functions apply whether the service is in a developing or developed country.

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