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Why study dental public health?

19 August 2020
5 reasons to study dental public health at the University of Sydney

Are you passionate about making a positive impact on the oral health of whole communities, particularly those who are disadvantaged? The new Master of Dental Public Health can help you make a difference.

1. Be recognised as an expert in your field

Dental public health is one of 13 specialties of dentistry that is recognised by the Dental Board of Australia and it is also a specialised field of study within the broader discipline of public health.

The new Master of Dental Public Health program is subject to accreditation by the Australian Dental Council (ADC) and approval by the Dental Board of Australia. Once approved, it will be the only program in Australia leading dental graduates who meet the standard for general registration in Australia to apply for registration as a specialist in Public Health Dentistry.

For non-dental graduates, recognition of a specialised body of knowledge and set of skills beyond those obtained in a foundational public health program is key for fast-tracking recognition as a dental public health expert.

2. Influence large scale change

The unique marriage of fields across dentistry and public health makes dental public health a rewarding field of specialisation among dentists and public health professionals with and interest in influencing widespread improvement to population oral health.

Unlike all other dental specialties which prioritise the oral health of individual patients, dental public health focuses on improving oral health for all at a population level through organised efforts for disease prevention, health improvement, surveillance, optimising dental care delivery system, and policy development, with a special attention to disadvantaged populations.

3. Open your career to new opportunities

For those interested in a dental career outside of clinical practice, dental public health specialists mainly work across federal, state, and local health organisations, while others take up academic posts and work in private organisations as well.

The scope of dental public health practice ranges from ranges from problem identification, needs assessment, and oral health program planning for communities and populations; evaluation and monitoring dental care delivery systems, evaluation, development, and advocacy for health policy and legislation; and designing and reporting on population-based oral health research.

4. Learn from experts in the field

The academic staff of the new Master of Dental Public Health are active in the field of dental public health, and come from a range of dental and public health backgrounds, enabling students of the program to learn first hand from their specialised experience, including:

  • Professor Woosung Sohn, a Diplomat of the American Board of Dental Public Health, an editor of the Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice and an editorial board member of the Journal of Public Health Dentistry.
  • Dr Alex Holden, an ethicist and practising dentist and Head of the Discipline of Professional Practice with extensive experience in ethics, law, professionalism and communications as applied to dental practice.

5. Help disadvantaged communities

Many dental public health specialists are drawn to the profession because of its focus of addressing social inequalities in access to dental services and also to prevention as well.

The overarching goal of dental public health is to positively impact the oral health of local, national, and global populations, particularly the disadvantaged, underserved, and vulnerable, through excellence and innovation in research, education, and service.


Still have questions?

To learn more about the program, including course structure, subjects, how to apply or course load, please contact us.

E Student Recruitment
T Helpline 1800 793 864 (1800 SYD UNI - within Australia) or +61 2 8627 1444 (outside Australia)

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