Community Health

Community health focus on a specific geographical areas rather than people with shared characteristics, where people might be of different races, work different jobs and practice different things culturally. I chose this category of community health because where I am from, most people do not work or venture outside of their community. With that being said, illness or disease could be easily passed along within a certain community group. I plan to be a part of the Dental field where I can help design and implement programs that promote health and prevent disease focused around oral hygiene. Along with treating and managing the proper health of the oral cavity, dental professionals and paraprofessionals develop and teach low literate and culturally appropriate information to patients where it is beneficial to everyone.

In my community there are different types of biological differences, where people might be of the same culture, but it is regarded in different ways. In a normal dental setting the same health promotion and preventive ways of disease could be taught, but when dealing with oral hygiene not everyone in the community consumes the same foods, have identical facial structure or dentition, and they might not have the same level of understand of how important dental hygiene could be. A dentist primary focus would be just maintaining good oral health and not stopping the root of a common problem.

An anthropologist would possibly research the background of the diverse individuals, and put themselves in the daily activities in which the community performs, or see how the different foods that are eaten affect the oral cavity or different layers of the teeth.  This will find the root of why maybe a neighborhood school has some kind of oral health related outbreak, why people of this community are complaining of tooth aches, or why certain patients are showing up with similar dental morphologies than the whole population.

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  1. Sarah Newman says:


    Great post. I really like how you dug deeper and reflected on how even something as simple as different foods can affect dental health. I also think it would be interesting to see if in the community there is stigma to receiving dental care, as there is so many different spectrum’s of culture and diversity, even in something as “small” as the Michigan State University community. I feel as if there may be a divide between people who have received dental care before and those who have not. Maybe one could evaluate the reasons why these people did or did not receive dental care prior to college and how that affected there dental care in the future. There may be social, economical, and cultural aspects to this argument as well. By doing so I think other programs and features could be established to further reach those who do not receive oral health care. It is important that medical anthropologist’s understand why certain health programs are not being used and how they can develop these programs to better fit the needs of the surrounding communities. So although there may be school programs to detect dental decay and carries, a student may not want the help due to stigma. The job of the medical anthropologist , then, would be to find a way to reduce the stigma, explain the processes and health care to the student better, or develop a new program that would be more greatly appreciated.

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