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New online course addresses global challenges and opportunities to improve oral health

Take the eight-chapter massive open online course to learn about the global burden of oral diseases and discover effective strategies for change.

oral health

Oral health is an important yet often overlooked component of our overall well-being. The prevalence of oral diseases worldwide, affecting nearly 3.5 billion people, demands urgent attention and collective action on a global scale. In response to this pressing need, a 3-hour massive open online course (MOOC) aimed at dentists and dental teams, as well as the wider healthcare teams was developed.

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Explore the global burden of oral diseases and discover strategies for impactful change

The 3-hour course entitled ‘The Challenge of Oral Disease: A Call for Global Action’ is based on the 2nd edition of the Oral Health Atlas, published in 2015, to highlight the extent of oral diseases worldwide and reflect on policies and strategies addressing the global burden. The MOOC was made possible through the support of the American Dental Association (ADA). Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) and the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) were also collaborating organizations.

The course is divided into eight comprehensive chapters, each covering key oral health-related matters. This MOOC serves not only as an educational tool but as a resource hub, arming dentists, healthcare teams, national dental associations, industry professionals, and the public with essential knowledge to advocate for policy changes addressing oral health on local and global levels.

The MOOC is led by a distinguished panel of global oral health experts, including online course editor Dr Elizabeth Shick and co-editors of the Oral Health Atlas, 2nd edition, Prof. David Williams and Prof. Habib Benzian.

Through this course, you will acquire the following knowledge and learn how to:

  • Describe oral health and oral disease over the life course, including the importance of oral health in general health.
  • Explain key strategies for oral health promotion, oral disease prevention and treatment.
  • Identify oral health risk factors and ways to mitigate them.
  • Discuss the oral health workforce and each person’s role on the oral health care team.
  • Describe critical elements of the global oral health agenda and associated policy implications. 


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