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Dent Clin North Am. 2008 Apr;52(2):319-32, vi. doi: 10.1016/j.cden.2007.12.006.

Multicultural issues in oral health.

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Department of Health Policy and Health Services Research, Northeast Center for Research to Evaluate and Eliminate Dental Disparities, Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, USA.


Demographic changes over the coming decades will heighten the challenges to both the dental profession and the nation. The expected growth in the numbers of racial and ethnic minorities and the concomitant growth of immigrant populations are likely to lead to worsening of oral health disparities. Their consequences are becoming increasingly evident, as the profession strives to improve the oral health of all Americans. The increasing diversity of the population, together with the importance of cultural beliefs and behaviors that affect health outcomes, will require ways to enhance provider-patient communications and oral health literacy. One important means by which to promote oral health in diverse populations is to develop a dental workforce that is both culturally and linguistically competent, as well as one that is as culturally diverse as the American population.

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