September 2019

Volume 36, Issue 3

Dentistry and Oral Health in Online Media Sources: A Discourse Analysis

Authors: Alexander C L Holden
doi: 10.1922/CDH_4623Holden08


Background: This analysis examines the discourses within online media that relate to dentistry and oral health, contributing to developing understanding of the underlying social and political contexts that may affect the promotion of oral health. The increased mediatisation of society means that media representations of the dental profession and oral health are of increasing importance. Methods: A search for online media sources relevant to dentistry and oral health was carried out using Google News. Discourse analysis was used to explore online media sources that discussed oral health, the dental profession and dentistry more generally. Results: 171 articles were included, and three overarching discourses were identified from the selected online sources; 1) Power and Professional Status; 2) Advancement of Social Control and; 3) Neo-liberal Attitudes Towards Oral Healthcare. Conclusions: The theory of the social contract provides a conceptual framework to explore the relationship between the dental profession and society, the nature of this is discoverable through analysis of the discourses within online media. Within the sources examined, the dental profession frequently invokes neo-liberal discourses that place personal responsibility to be an important factor in preventative oral health. There was also frequent suggestion of a stronger link between oral and systemic health than is evidenced within the academic literature. Analysis of the media sources examined also suggests that the representations of oral health and dentistry also serve to reinforce the artificial separation of the mouth and the body, with dental services being separate from other healthcare activities. Keywords: Oral Health, Dentistry, Social Contract, Media, Discourse Analysis


Other articles in this issue

Article Pages Access
Exploring the feasibility of using routinely collected data to produce antibiotic prescribing profiles for general dental practitioners in Wales 177-180 Download
A conceptual framework for an oral cancer awareness campaign in Northern Germany - Challenges in campaign development and assessment 181-186 Download
Feasibility of Collecting Saliva for Biological Verification of Tobacco Use Status in Dental Practices and Patients’ Homes: Results from the National Dental PBRN 187-189 Download
Effectiveness of fluoride varnish four times a year in preventing caries in the primary dentition: A 2 year randomized controlled trial 190-194 Download
Trend in unequal geographical distribution of dentists by age and gender in Japan from 1996–2014 195-197 Download
Inequalities in orthodontic outcomes in England: treatment utilisation, subjective and normative need 198-202 Download
Exponential tooth decay curve 203-206 Download
Dental caries status and related modifiable factors among Nepali students 207-213 Download
Fluoride in drinking water in Madagascar and the development of a strategy for salt fluoridation 214-220 Download
Dentistry and Oral Health in Online Media Sources: A Discourse Analysis 221-228 Download
The prevalence of enamel and dentine caries lesions and their determinant factors among children living in fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas 229-236 Download


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