Oral Health Literacy
and Dental Public Health


About this Course

This course presents a brief overview of the definition of health literacy, how health literacy and oral health literacy are measured, and the role of oral health literacy in promoting oral health and access to dental care in both private practice and in public health settings. It includes discussion of how oral health literacy can influence long-term oral health outcomes, and how oral health literate approaches can be integrated into private and public health organizations.

Competencies Addressed:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to incorporate ethical reasoning and actions that promote culturally competent oral health care to individuals and populations.

Course Objectives

 At the completion of this course, student will be able to:

  1. Define health literacy and oral health literacy for the health care provider and dental public health professional

  2. Describe the individual, community and public health implications of low oral health literacy

  3. Explain strategies to communicate more clearly with patients, the public, or community

  4. Identify aspects of an oral health literate organization and be able to suggest ways to implement oral health literate best practices

  5. Identify low health literacy through various measurement strategies




COURSE DEVELOPER: Dr. Kathryn Ann Atchison

COURSE CONTRIBUTORS: Jessica Richards, Jennifer Holtzman


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Course content includes a PowerPoint Presentation, Instructor Guide, Syllabus, and other material.