Special Issue "Oral Health Disparities Due to Race, Ethnicity, and Class"

A special issue of Dentistry Journal (ISSN 2304-6767).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Shervin Assari

Department of Psychiatry and School of Public Health, University of Michigan, 1500 East Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5295, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: depression; race; gender; sex; class

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Race, ethnicity, and class impact the oral health of populations in multiple ways. Although multiple mechanisms are involved, two major hypotheses are “Differential Exposure” and “Differential vulnerability”. According to the differential exposure hypothesis, race, ethnicity, and class impact exposure to a wide range of risk and protective factors that have oral health implications. In this view, distribution of risk and protective factors are not identical across social groups and depend on race and class. According to this hypothesis, differential exposures mediate the racial and class differences in oral health. According to the differential vulnerability hypothesis, however, race, ethnicity, and class alter populations vulnerability and resilience to a certain or a combination of risk/protective factors. Based on this hypothesis, the effects of risk and protective factors are not universal across groups but specific to each social group.

Recent research has shown that race, ethnicity, and class interact on various aspects of health. While class partially explains the effect of race and ethnicity on health, racial and ethnic groups differ in how they can translate their class to health. In this view, the effects of socioeconomic resources are smaller for minority populations compared to the majority group. In the United States, for instance, education, income, and employment may show stronger health effects in Whites than Blacks and Hispanics. This pattern is also called Minorities’ Diminished Return, or Unequal Gain of Equal Resources.

Finally, it is not just race, ethnicity, and class, but their intersections that shape life circumstances, and health needs. In this view, the effects of race, ethnicity, and class are different from algebraic sums of their effects. For instance, in the United States, the experiences of Black men are very different from Black women. Life experiences of Latino population depends on country of origin and nativity status. Same is true for ethnic groups of Blacks.

The Special Issue “Oral Health Disparities Due to Race, Ethnicity, and Class” invites state-of-the-art original and review articles on the above-mentioned topics. Potential papers of interest include: 1) studies testing differential exposure or differential vulnerability; 2) studies testing additive and multiplicative effects; 3) studies that compare countries or locations within countries; 4) studies that report mediators or moderators of disparities; 5) studies on tailored interventions for sub-populations; 6) studies using a national sample, or using longitudinal design; 7) studies using an intersectionality approach; and 8) studies on measurement and methodology issues.

Dr. Shervin Assari
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Dentistry Journal is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 350 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Racial Disparities
  • Economic disparities
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Populations
  • Income
  • Class
  • Education

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Household Income and Children’s Unmet Dental Care Need; Blacks’ Diminished Return
Dent. J. 2018, 6(2), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/dj6020017
Received: 23 April 2018 / Revised: 27 May 2018 / Accepted: 30 May 2018 / Published: 4 June 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (241 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Minorities’ Diminished Return theory is defined as the relative disadvantage of minority populations compared to Whites regarding health gains that follow socioeconomic status (SES). To test whether Minorities’ Diminished Return theory holds for unmet dental care needs (DCN), we investigated Black-White differences
[...] Read more.
Background: Minorities’ Diminished Return theory is defined as the relative disadvantage of minority populations compared to Whites regarding health gains that follow socioeconomic status (SES). To test whether Minorities’ Diminished Return theory holds for unmet dental care needs (DCN), we investigated Black-White differences in the effects of family income on unmet DCN among children. Methods: Data from the National Survey of Children’s Health were used. Participants were either White or Black children age 1 to 18. Family income-to-needs ratio was the independent variable. Unmet DCN was the dependent variable. Covariates included age, gender, and parental educational attainment. Race was the focal moderator. We ran logistic regression for data analysis. Results: Higher income-to-needs ratio was associated with lower risk of unmet DCN in the pooled sample. We found an interaction between race and family income-to-needs ratio on unmet DCN, suggesting a stronger protective effect for Whites than Blacks. Conclusion: Minorities’ Diminished Return also holds for the effects of family income-to-needs ratio on unmet DCN. The relative disadvantage of Blacks compared to Whites in gaining oral health from their SES may reflect structural racism that systemically hinders Black families. There is a need for additional research on specific societal barriers that bound Blacks’ oral health gain from their SES resources such as income. Policies and programs should also help Black families to leverage their SES resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oral Health Disparities Due to Race, Ethnicity, and Class)
Open AccessArticle Socioeconomic Status and Self-Rated Oral Health; Diminished Return among Hispanic Whites
Dent. J. 2018, 6(2), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/dj6020011
Received: 18 March 2018 / Revised: 20 April 2018 / Accepted: 20 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (294 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background. An extensive body of knowledge has documented weaker health effects of socio-economic status (SES) for Blacks compared to Whites, a phenomenon also known as Blacks’ diminished return. It is, however, unknown whether the same diminished return also holds for other ethnic minorities
[...] Read more.
Background. An extensive body of knowledge has documented weaker health effects of socio-economic status (SES) for Blacks compared to Whites, a phenomenon also known as Blacks’ diminished return. It is, however, unknown whether the same diminished return also holds for other ethnic minorities such as Hispanics or not. Aim. Using a nationally representative sample, the current study aimed to compare Non-Hispanic and Hispanic Whites for the effects of SES on self-rated oral health. Methods. For the current cross-sectional study, we used data from the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys (CPES), 2001–2003. With a nationally representative sampling, CPES included 11,207 adults who were either non-Hispanic Whites (n = 7587) or Hispanic Whites (n = 3620. The dependent variable was self-rated oral health, treated as dichotomous measure. Independent variables were education, income, employment, and marital status. Ethnicity was the focal moderator. Age and gender were covariates. Logistic regressions were used for data analysis. Results. Education, income, employment, and marital status were associated with oral health in the pooled sample. Although education, income, employment, and marital status were associated with oral health in non-Hispanic Whites, none of these associations were found for Hispanic Whites. Conclusion. In a similar pattern to Blacks’ diminished return, differential gain of SES indicators exists between Hispanic and non-Hispanic Whites, with a disadvantage for Hispanic Whites. Diminished return of SES should be regarded as a systemically neglected contributing mechanism behind ethnic oral health disparities in the United States. Replication of Blacks’ diminished return for Hispanics suggests that these processes are not specific to ethnic minority groups, and non-White groups gain less because they are not enjoying the privilege and advantage of Whites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oral Health Disparities Due to Race, Ethnicity, and Class)

Review

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Open AccessReview Foreign-Trained Dentists in the United States: Challenges and Opportunities
Dent. J. 2018, 6(3), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/dj6030026
Received: 8 May 2018 / Revised: 6 June 2018 / Accepted: 20 June 2018 / Published: 1 July 2018
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Abstract
The aim of the present study is to review the licensing process and challenges faced by foreign-trained dentists in United States (U.S.), and how incorporating foreign-trained dentists in the dental workforce in the U.S. impacts the population’s dental care. Foreign-trained dentists must complete
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The aim of the present study is to review the licensing process and challenges faced by foreign-trained dentists in United States (U.S.), and how incorporating foreign-trained dentists in the dental workforce in the U.S. impacts the population’s dental care. Foreign-trained dentists must complete additional training in a Commission of Dental Accreditation recognized program offered by a U.S. dental school in order to be eligible for licensing. Foreign-trained dentists interested in seeking employment in the U.S. face numerous challenges, including stringent admission processes, high tuition costs, immigration barriers and cultural differences. Opening the U.S. dental profession to foreign-trained dentists provides several advantages, such as increasing the diversity of dentists in the U.S., expanding access to underrepresented communities, and enhancing the expertise of the profession. Foreign-trained dentists are an important resource for a U.S. government seeking to build the human capital base and make the most of global trade opportunities through a “brain gain”. Increasing the diversity in the dental profession to match the general U.S. population might improve access to dental care for minorities and poor Americans, reducing disparities in dental care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oral Health Disparities Due to Race, Ethnicity, and Class)
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