June 2021

Volume 38, Issue 2

Making science and doing justice: The need to reframe research on racial inequities in oral health [Special issue of Community Dental Health, to be disseminated at the ‘Racism and oral health inequities’ International Association for Dental Resea

Authors: João L Bastos Helena M Constante Lisa M Jamieson
doi: 10.1922/CDH_IADRBastos06

Abstract

This article combines a review of dental studies on race with sociological insights into systemic racism to advance a counter-narrative on the root causes of racial oral health inequities. Taking racism as a form of oppression that cuts across institutional, cultural, and behavioral dimensions of social life, we ask: How pervasive are racial inequities in the occurrence of adverse oral health outcomes? What is the direction and magnitude of racial inequities in oral health? Does the inequitable distribution of negative outcomes persist over time? How can sociological frameworks on systemic racism inform initiatives to effectively reduce racial oral health inequities? The first three questions are addressed by reviewing dental studies conducted in the past few years around the globe. The fourth question is addressed by framing racial oral health inequities around sociological scholarship on racism as a systemic feature of contemporary societies. The paper concludes with a set of practical recommendations on how to eliminate racial oral health inequities, which include engaging with a strong anti-racist narrative and actively dismantling the race discrimination system. Amid the few attempts at moving the field towards improved racial justice, this paper should be followed by research on interventions against racial oral health inequities, including the conditions under which they succeed. Keywords: Oral health; health status disparities; race relations; racism; health policy.

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Other articles in this issue

Article Pages Access
Dental Public Health in Action: Investing to prevent: Description of an innovative approach to commissioning a supervised toothbrushing programme across multiple local authorities in England 66-70 Download
Psycho-social impact of malocclusion in adolescents in Kosovo 71-75 £10 single article
Promoting oral health among 6-year old children: The impact of social environment and feeding behavior. 76-82 £10 single article
Associations between oral health and general health: a surveywide association study of the NHANES 83-88 £10 single article
Barriers and enablers to skill-mix in the oral health workforce: A systematic review 89-99 £10 single article
Parents’ experiences of participating in health-promoting activities at a family centre for preschool children in Sweden 100-104 £10 single article
Oral health knowledge and practices in the Kaski District of Nepal 105-111 £10 single article
The effect of plaque control in the treatment of Oral Lichen Planus with gingival manifestations: a Systematic Review 112-118 £10 single article
Dental anxiety, child-oral health related quality of life and selfesteem in children and adolescents: a systematic review and meta-analysis 119-126 £10 single article
Obituary Gill Bradnock 1944 – 2020 127-127 £10 single article
Obituary Michael Lennon 1943 – 2021 128-128 £10 single article
Racism and oral health inequities; an introduction [Special issue of Community Dental Health, to be disseminated at the ‘Racism and oral health inequities’ International Association for Dental Research symposium, July 2021, Boston, USA] 131-131 Download
Making science and doing justice: The need to reframe research on racial inequities in oral health [Special issue of Community Dental Health, to be disseminated at the ‘Racism and oral health inequities’ International Association for Dental Resea 132-137 Download
Effects of Racism on Oral Health in the United States [Special issue of Community Dental Health, to be disseminated at the ‘Racism and oral health inequities’ International Association for Dental Research symposium, July 2021, Boston, USA] 138-141 Download
A Critical Analysis of Underrepresentation of Racialised Minorities in the UK Dental Workforce [Special issue of Community Dental Health, to be disseminated at the ‘Racism and oral health inequities’ International Association for Dental Research 142-149 Download
Racism and oral health inequities among Indigenous Australians [Special issue of Community Dental Health, to be disseminated at the ‘Racism and oral health inequities’ International Association for Dental Research symposium, July 2021, Boston, US 150-155 Download

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