March 2019

Volume 36, Issue 1

Systems science and oral health: Implications for Dental Public Health?

Authors: Broomhead T Baker SR
doi: 10.1922/CDH_4470Broomhead08

Abstract

Systems science methods offer an alternative way to approach problems within Dental Public Health by encouraging the consideration of the wider systems and structures in which oral health problems exist. Through such an approach, and consideration of interacting systems over multiple hierarchical levels, it may be possible to better understand the complexity associated with oral health related outcomes, and to improve theoretical understanding of these relationships. Simulation methods associated with systems science can also be used to help model and capture these real-world problems, and to help test the interactions associated with different elements of a system. The aim of this review is to summarise the concepts behind systems science approaches, and what they can offer the field of Dental Public Health. This will include an overview of the way systems science can approach problems associated with complexity, and the benefits these approaches can have. The main methods associated with the field will then be reviewed, along with examples of their application. This paper will then outline some of the main implications, both conceptual and methodological, that adopting systems science methods may have for Dental Public Health. Finally, the challenges associated with systems science will also be presented. It is hoped that this review will highlight the benefits of systems thinking, and how it can add to our conceptual knowledge of the contexts in which complex health problems are embedded. Keywords: Systems science; dental public health; oral health; complexity

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Other articles in this issue

Article Pages Access
Editorial ‘No simple solutions, no single ingredient’: Systems-orientated approaches for addressing Wicked Problems in population oral health 3-4 Download
Dental Public Health in Action: The use of the NICE ten step model to conduct an oral health needs assessment in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw 5-8 £10 single article
Caries-preventive efficacy of a supervised school toothbrushing programme in Northland, New Zealand 9-16 £10 single article
Socioeconomic Variation in the association between Malocclusion and Oral Health Related Quality of Life 17-21 £10 single article
Low rates of dental attendance by the age of one and inequality between local government administrative areas in England 22-26 Download
The relationship between body mass index and oral health status among Saudi adults: a cross-sectional study 27-32 £10 single article
The acceptability of fluoride varnish and fissure sealant treatments in children aged 6-9 delivered in a school setting 33-38 Download
Interventions to reduce socio-economic inequalities in dental service utilisation – a systematic review 39-45 Download
Embarrassing realities: The portrayal of dentistry in reality tv ‘dentertainment’ 46-54 Download
Systems science and oral health: Implications for Dental Public Health? 55-62 Download
The Boundaries between Caries and Periodontal Diseases. What are the Implications for Education in Dental Public Health? Proceedings of EADPH/SESPO Pre-Congress Workshop held on Wednesday, 17 October 2018 at The Centro Cultural Sa Nostra Congress Cen 63-86 £10 single article

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