Canadian Association of Public Health Dentistry
Dental Public Health is the science and art of preventing and controlling dental diseases and promoting oral health through organized community efforts. It is that form of dental practice that serves the community as a client rather than the individual. It is concerned with dental health education of the public, with applied dental research, and with the administration of group dental care plans, as well as the prevention and control of dental diseases on a community basis.
Dental Public Health Dentistry is a recognized dental specialty in Canada. CAPHD represents Public Health Dentists through the Canadian Dental Specialties Association, which is an affiliate of the Canadian Dental Association.
CAPHD encourages dental public health professionals to adopt the Public Health Agency of Canada's Core Competencies for Public Health in Canada and the Dental Public Health Discipline Specific Competencies. These set a standard for dental public health in Canada, provide a foundation for enhanced education and professional development and will ultimately strengthen the public health capacity in Canada.
Meet some of our members and find out why they chose dental public health as a career:
Dr. Luke Shwart
DMD, MBA Dental Public Health Officer, Population & Public Health
"By Grade 11 the possibility of Dentistry had not even crossed my mind, but each day during Career Week we had to select one of three sessions. On Thursday nothing seemed interesting, but I ended up in the room with the dentist. Until that moment, I thought I had to choose just one thing: arts or sciences or helping people. Suddenly the light went on - Dentistry encouraged you to do all those things together! That moment was the key to my future, and I haven't looked back.
After some years in private practice, it got even better: Dental Public Health means using your scientific training and creative talents to help make healthier communities. As you mature, gaining knowledge, skills and confidence - you do things in your 30s that you couldn't in your 20s, and investing in education gives you the ability to do things in your 50s that you couldn't in your 40s. This profession allows you to grow and expand your horizons, and involves you in a community of intelligent and dedicated people across the country."
Ms. Faye Souter
"I shifted from private practice to public health, somewhat by chance. I attended the National School of Dental Therapy, intending to return to private practice. My practicum was set in Canad's Arctic, where I gained an understanding of the pressing dental needs of children, families and communities where access to dental care was limited. I decided that working as a public health dental therapist was purposeful and I wanted to contribute to the well being of others.
This decision set my family and I on an adventure, of sorts. Working for the Government of Nunavut, I traveled to isolated communities delivering routine and emergency dental services. My adult son, who was seven years old when we moved to Nunavut, often expresses how grateful he is to have experienced living in the north. After Nunavut, I moved into an administrative position, as a dental health advisor for First Nations in Northern Saskatchewan. Currently, I work with Health Canada as a Dental Therapist providing preventative services to 4 First Nation Communities in Alberta through the Children's Oral Health Initiative (COHI).
My work in public health has been a fulfilling experience and gives me the opportunity for personal and professional growth. I have the privilege of working with a diverse group of people at a community level and work as a member of a multi disciplinary team. It has been rewarding on many levels and I see many opportunities in the future."