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Utilization of a Mobile Dental Vehicle for Oral Healthcare in Rural Areas

Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 999077, China
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(7), 1234; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16071234
Received: 19 February 2019 / Revised: 27 March 2019 / Accepted: 4 April 2019 / Published: 7 April 2019
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Abstract

Oral diseases remain one of the major global public health challenges, and the worldwide urban–rural disparities in oral health are significant. Residents in rural areas generally suffer from a higher prevalence and severity of dental caries and periodontal disease, yet they face numerous difficulties and barriers in accessing oral healthcare. Conventional strategies, such as building of dental clinics or, hospitals, or the provision of outreach services by using disposable materials, are neither practical nor effective in rural settings. Mobile dental vehicles (MDVs) have been proposed as an alternative strategy to supplement the traditional oral healthcare in many regions. They have usually been utilized in school-based oral health programs, providing dental care to the homeless or migrants, and screening programs for the population for various oral diseases. Due to their high mobility, MDVs are particularly valuable for the underserved populations living in rural areas. The advance of dental devices enables MDVs to be operated in a self-sufficient manner. This allows the MDV to function almost as well as a conventional dental clinic, providing a variety of dental treatments, including scaling, restoration, and oral surgery. This article discusses the use of MDVs as a solution to urban–rural inequality in receiving oral healthcare. View Full-Text
Keywords: mobile dental vehicle; oral healthcare; rural area; inequality mobile dental vehicle; oral healthcare; rural area; inequality
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Gao, S.S.; Yon, M.J.Y.; Chen, K.J.; Duangthip, D.; Lo, E.C.M.; Chu, C.H. Utilization of a Mobile Dental Vehicle for Oral Healthcare in Rural Areas. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 1234.

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