Career Role: Public Health Professional

Words: 700
Pages: 3

Career Role: Public Health Professional
A dental public health professional hold a very important role in the dental world. The ADHA model states that every role incorporated with a dental hygienist can intertwine with the field of public health. Public health is defined as the act of “advocating for inclusion of oral health content to prevent disease, promote health, and solve health problems for populations with unmet needs using evidence based practices” (ADHA, 2017). There are many populations that have unmet dental needs—such as people in poverty, the elderly, people in prison, and nursing homes. These populations many times cannot come to a dental office, so that is where a public health professional steps in. A public health professional
…show more content…
First, a practitioner needs to be licensed as a dental hygienist and then as a public health professional. Once the license is obtained, there are limitations as to what a dental public health professional can do. Indiana has passed a law that a hygienist can now provide care under “prescriptive dentistry” (House Enrolled Act, 2014). This means that with a hygienist having two years of experience working in a dental office, a dentist can prescribe for treatment that same day given that a medical history and comprehensive exam have been provided (House Enrolled Act, 2014). A hygienist cannot just go into a nursing home as a public event and provide care. A dentist either has to be present or write a prescription after examining the patient first himself. This makes it difficult to deliver care since the dentist has patients of their own that they have to worry about. However, providing education and materials (toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss) are all acceptable without the supervision of a …show more content…
Every place you go has someone in need of dental care. The job market for this role is not a huge industry, but almost every city or town holds a few jobs. The median salary for a public health specialist is around $63,000 per year (Advocated for Public Health Education, 2012). More public health professionals are needed because there are so many people suffering from the lack of dental care. Most of those people do not even know that they are in need of the help, and those that do have no direction on where to go for the help. As a public health professional, education and be shared about the importance of oral hygiene and information can be dispersed on where/how to receive available