Public health in dentistry entails the assessment of dental health needs, improving the dental health of populations, and promoting public health measures to control the spread of disease and encourage healthier lifestyles. It is a dentistry-oriented concentration in the general public health field, which involves preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health through organized efforts. Public health is closely tied to epidemiology, biostatistics, and health services.
Studies within the MPH program in Dental Public Health are designed to prepare graduates for a wide range of administrative, supervisory, academic, and research careers in dentistry. Courses generally fall under the areas of biostatistics, epidemiology, health service administration, health education, behavioral science, and environmental science, in addition to classes specific to dentistry skills. Most MPH in dental health programs take about two years to complete on a full-time basis. Some programs may require students to have an academic or professional background in dental health or public health. An MPH in dental health prepares students to take on advanced roles in the field of public health in such occupations as educator, administrator, manager, or representative. This degree can also lead to a career as a consultant for dental health facilities.