Dental epidemiological research
We study the occurrence, determinants, and natural history of the common oral conditions. We employ a number of approaches, most notably the prospective cohort study and the cross-sectional survey. Multidisciplinary collaboration has proven to be a very fruitful way of doing our work. It combines the different strengths, and knowledge bases of a number of researchers, not only here at Otago, but also around the world.
A key part of our dental epidemiological research is our life-course research in oral health with the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health & Development Study. This is prospective observational research into the natural history of oral health and disease in a representative birth cohort now in adulthood. This study is providing unprecedented information on the natural history of oral health and disease.
Our work in this area continues to attract international attention and to be published in top international journals:
Dental health services research
Our work is concerned with how the dental healthcare system works, and the extent to which users are benefiting from it. Key activities are measuring oral health outcomes, and increasing understanding of how, and why people use (or do not use) dental services. Our group has played an important role in the development, and epidemiological validation, of new global measures for child oral-health-related quality of life, and new dental interventions. We also conduct dental workforce research.
Oral health promotion & health policy research
Our oral health promotion work often involves collaboration with colleagues in public-sector oral health care around New Zealand. Examples of our oral health promotion work include the development of oral health education resources, evaluation of health promotion programmes, and community outreach to school and refugee communities. We also conduct research on policy relating to issues like access to dental care and community water fluoridation.
More information on our current research projects, key personnel and collaborators, funding highlights and publications can be found in our Dental epidemiology and public health programme profile (linked at right).
Professor Jonathan Broadbent, Dental Epidemiology and Public Health research programme director, and lead researcher for the dental component of the Dunedin Study.
Dental epidemiology and public health programme profile
(Extract from our 2019-2020 SJWRI Research Report)