Dental Public Health Residency Program

Application Essay Introduction

The DPH Residency Program is crucial for my future career in the sphere of public health. Getting a Master’s Degree in Public Health in Florida, I plan to work in academic and National Public Health Agencies. Hence, I regard my main task as promoting oral health on the individual and public level. To my mind, Dental Public Health is of great importance for the society. Therefore, this program is important to provide me with profound knowledge in prevention of oral diseases, oral health needs of children and adults, understanding of efficient and effective dental public health programs that increase access to community preventive services and addressing oral health disparities through various services.

 

Career Objectives

As a citizen of Saudi Arabia, I am planning to apply the above mentioned knowledge to help my compatriots and improve the level of oral medicine in our country. DPH program is essential for me to reach my future career objectives that are aimed to contribute the dental health needs of the population. In such a way, I have to be competent in planning efficient and timely oral health programs for population.

Application Essay Body Paragraphs

Furthermore, I will promote public oral health by using the appropriate interventions and strategies for the oral diseases control. Scientific literature together with communication and collaboration with patients and social survey statistics will become the basis for properly designed programs and decisions oriented on support of public oral health. My tasks will also include designing of control systems to regulate oral health, evaluation of public health policy, legislation, and regulations. Ultimately, I am sure that the competencies taught by the Dental Public Health Residency Program are irreplaceable for high level professionals in the dental area and they will let me contribute to the decrease of dental caries experience, untreated dental decay, periodontal diseases, permanent teeth extraction, increase the number of health centers, and improve public health infrastructure in Saudi Arabia.

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Dental Preventive Programs in Saudi Arabia

Oral health is inseparable part of the general health of people. However, in comparison with the illnesses that lead to human physical or mental disabilities that may have stronger negative influence on the quality of people’s life, dental diseases are much more often neglected and considered as less serious by the majority of individuals. Considering the statistics in Saudi Arabia, the last decade showed significant increase in children’s dental caries. Hence, people have to pay more attention to such chronic oral diseases as toothache, dental caries, abscess or periodontal diseases as they form a great threat for their mood, interpersonal relations, working capacity, and overall health state.

To decrease the risks of complicating diseases in future, oral health needs to be maintained since childhood. Therefore, preventive programs are the key to improve the oral public health in the country. This review is aimed to represent the level of public oral health in Saudi Arabia and emphasize the great necessity for dentists to be properly informed and motivated toward support of possible preventive dental care programs that would improve the situation.

Numerous researches that focus on the critical impact of dental caries emphasize their crucial influence on children’s health and development. It is a serious public health problem that demands immediate attention and solutions from the government and dental specialists. In his work, Al Agili (2013) paid particular attention to the caries experience identifying it as a problem that Saudi Arabian policymakers have to solve. Prevalence and severity of caries in Saudi Arabia among children was estimated on the basis of surveys dated from 1988 to 2014.

According to Al Agili’s research (2013), the Saudi Arabian data on the issue are poor and insufficient. Such conclusion should make the public health workers think of more effective collaboration with the population and taking surveys that would provide credible basis for dental preventive programs. Lack of representative data on the dental caries decreases the possible level of effectiveness of the means directed to struggle with it. However, the issue really deserves particular attention. Al Agili’s research (2013) reported the prevalence of dental caries among children in Saudi Arabia till 2010 as very high and reaching 80%.

Another survey held in Tabuk, the military city, and based on the examination of elementary school children reported two times higher prevalence of dental caries than WTO goals recommended. To be more precise, according to the results, 92.5% of six-year-old children had dental caries (Baghdadi, 2014). Such data prove that World Health Organization’s (WHO) goals are not met by children of Saudi Arabia. Therefore, there exists a strong necessity to mark out these unmet goals and set up the effective plan how to meet them. Gathering the reliable current data is the primary step towards progress in the problem salvation. Without the ability to describe the current situation, it is not possible to identify whether progress is being made toward these goals. Consequently, clear plan is the most appropriate tool to improve oral health of Saudi Arabian children.

In order to find the most appropriate solution for the problem, one should define its causes properly. In his research, Baghdadi (2014) pointed out the following factors that lead to unfavorable oral health statistics in Saudi Arabia: high level of sugar and carbonated soft drinks consumption; inadequate and inappropriate oral hygiene practices; lack of effective preventive and educative programs; poor awareness of the importance of oral health. Hence the statistics of dental caries in children is closely interrelated with nutritional problems and health disorders (Baghdadi, 2014).

Furthermore, water fluoridation is considered as a healthy way to prevent tooth decay. Hence, fluoride level in the water is an important indicator of safety that it provides to human oral health. According to Aldrees & Al-Manea (2010), concentration of fluoride in bottled water in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, can differ within a safe range. However, there are evidences that manufactures’ labeling of fluoride content is not always accurate (Aldrees & Al-Manea, 2010). At the same time, in the Central Provinces, people are “exposed to very low fluoride levels” (Aldosary, Akpata, Khan, Wyne, & Al-Meheithif, 2003). In contrast to Riyadh, the same researches for Qassim showed considerably higher results (Aldosary et al., 2003). Hence, there are good reasons for the government to review demands to fluoride contents and equalization of drinking water throughout the areas.

The programs that deal with caries management can be of “noninvasive and invasive character” (Baghdadi, 2014). However, preventive programs are definitely necessary when dealing with the younger generation as they let avoid many health problems. Therefore, some essential preventive measures that are common around the world and should be applied more thoroughly to Saudi Arabians comprise fluoridation, sealants usage, oral hygiene improvement, and dietary control. However “good patient compliance” and creating “conducive...social and ecological environments” are inseparable steps of national oral health improvement (Baghdadi, 2014).

Even though the patients’ own responsibility considering that the disease cannot be denied, oral health educational sessions and individual counseling should be implemented in order to contribute to the problem salvation (Baghdadi 2014). Nevertheless, Togoo, Al-Rafee, Kandyala, Luqam, & Al-Bulowey (2012) also point out that the combination of preventive methods always depends on the health care policies, therapeutic materials’ availability and dental professionals’ skills and attitudes. Being the main cause of tooth mortality and extraction, dental caries is a serious public health concern in Saudi Arabia (Togoo et al., 2012).

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Application Essay Summary

Numerous causes of dental caries include poor dietary habits, poor oral hygiene, and lack of dental care. Oral hygiene should be improved in Saudi Arabia by following the WTO goal through extensive education programs, government policies on water fluoridation, and various possible dental preventive programs. However, the practices of dentists and effectiveness of their work are influenced by their own knowledge and opinions. At the same time, the level of motivation to avoid the diseases and help the patients is of crucial importance for further success. Hence, education and training of both population and dental professionals is important to improve the situation in the country.

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