Discrimination and Dignity Experiences in Prior Oral Care Visits Predict Racialized Oral Health Inequities Among Nationally Representative US Adults

Published 10/27/2023

Individuals who experience discrimination or microaggressions within oral care settings have worse oral health outcomes and are less likely to plan a preventive oral care visit in the future, according to an article in the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. The insights are based on findings from the CareQuest Institute State of Oral Health Equity in America survey, the largest nationally representative annual survey focused on adults’ knowledge, attitudes, experiences, and behaviors related to oral health. 

The authors write:

The strength of the association [between discrimination and poor oral health outcomes], in particular, demands our scientific attention to better understand these associations and to develop practices in oral care settings to make all patients feel affirmed, supported, and valued.

To improve the delivery of “culturally safe, relationship-centered care,” the authors support increased diversity in the oral care workforce and changes to CODA standards to prepare all dental students with the knowledge and skills necessary to overturn systemic oppression. 

Read the article in the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. (open access)  

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