Dental Public Health and Education
Advanced degrees are required to practice in the field of dental public health. Most individuals who pursue this specialty are experienced dental health practitioners who are concerned with optimal oral health care for selected populations.
Inside Dental Public Health and Education
An advanced, non-clinical dental specialty, public health dentistry deals with the assessment of the overall oral health and needs of communities with special attention given to disease prevention, research and delivery of service. Individuals learn to address dental health care issues at a societal level. Managerial and analytical skills are refined to enable graduates to apply effective philosophies, practices and solutions to questions that arise in the dental public health arena.
Programs are available that lead to certificates, master's degrees and doctorates with a specialty in dental public health. Dentists and dental hygienists who have earned their degree are eligible to apply for admission to most programs. Common courses include oral epidemiology, program planning, administration and health policy, bioethics and law, statistical analysis and finance.
Graduates are prepared for careers in dental academic settings or in the administration of dental public health. Employment opportunities exist in such areas as government agencies, public health departments, research institutions, foundations, colleges and universities. Common careers include public health educators or oral epidemiologists.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have specific data for dental educators in public health or oral epidemiologists. However, the BLS projected employment for general health educators to increase by 18% from 2008-2018. Job growth for epidemiologists was projected at 15% for the same period. As of May 2010, the BLS reported health educators made a median salary of $50,270 and epidemiologists earned $68,280 (www.bls.gov).
Learn More about Dental Public Health and Education
There are several programs available to you in public health dentistry depending on your prior education and experience. Whether you want to focus on the research aspects of public health as an oral epidemiologist or work with individuals as a dental public health educator, Education-Portal.com can provide you with the information to help you make your education and career choices.
Often individuals working in dental public health first earn a degree in dentistry. The following are some degree options that may lead to a career in dental public health.
- Epidemiologist Programs
- Public Health Certificate
- Master in Public Health
- Doctor of Dental Medicine or Dental Surgery Degrees
Dental public health is an advanced dental specialty, so often individuals work as a practicing dentist or dental hygienist before transferring into the public health field. Below are some examples of careers in this field.
Distance Learning Options
Online and hybrid programs in public health are common, but due to the hands-on nature of the work, these are not usually offered by dental schools. Here are some of the online opportunities in public health.
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