A Competency Matrix for Global Oral Health

Habib Benzian, John S. Greenspan, Jane Barrow, Jeffrey W. Hutter, Peter M. Loomer, Nicole Stauf, Dorothy A. Perry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The Lancet Commission on Education of Health Professionals for the 21st Century calls for enhancing health education for the needs and challenges of the 21st century to improve health status globally. To complement the Lancet report, this article makes recommendations for including core global health competencies in the education of health care professionals and specific groups of the public who are relevant to oral health in a global context in order to tackle the burden of oral diseases. Experts from various professional backgrounds developed global oral health competencies for four target groups: Group 1 was defined as dental students, residents/trainee specialists (or equivalent), and dentists; Group 2 was community health workers, dental hygienists, and dental therapists (or the equivalent); Group 3 was health professionals such as physicians, physician assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners, and pharmacists; and Group 4 was non-health professionals in the public arena such as parents, teachers, decision makers, key opinion leaders, and health and consumer advocates. Key competencies for members of each of the four target groups are presented in a matrix. The suggested competency matrix shows that many other health professions and groups in society have potentially crucial roles in the prevention, control, and management of oral diseases globally. Workforce models including a wider range of professionals working together as a team will be needed to tackle the burden of oral diseases in an integrated way in the broader context of non-communicable diseases. Further discussion and research should be conducted to validate or improve the competencies proposed here with regard to their relevance, appropriateness, and completeness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-361
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of dental education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • competencies for global oral health
  • dental education
  • global health professionals
  • global oral health
  • health personnel
  • health professions education
  • interprofessional education
  • oral health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Dentistry(all)


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