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Article: Volume 42 Number 10 Page 965 - December 2015

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  Dent Update 2015; 42: 965-971

Dental public health:  Oral Healthcare Implications of Mass Migration

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Abstract: Population movements, whether voluntary or forced, are an integral part of an increasingly globalized society and, while the health needs of migrant populations cannot be generalized, some migrants can have worse oral health outcomes compared with their host-country counterparts, with their first dental contact typically being for emergency care. Failure to provide immediately necessary treatment may be unlawful under the Human Rights Act 1998.

Clinical relevance: NHS dental services need to evolve and address the challenges inherent in caring for vulnerable migrants. Education and appropriate training needs to be developed for the dental profession in order to enable new ways of promoting inter-sectoral care and community engagement.

Author notes: Jasmine Murphy, BDS(Hons), MFGDP UK, MSt(Camb), MRes(Public Health), MFDS RCS(Edin), MFDS RCS(Eng), FDS (Dental Public Health) RCS(Eng), FFPH RCP, Consultant in Public Health, Leicester City Council and Professor Crispian Scully, CBE, MD, PhD, MDS, MRCS, BSc, FDS RCS, FDS RCPS, FFD RCSI, FDS RCSE, FRCPath, FMedSci, FHEA, FUCL, DSc, DChD, DMed(HC), Dr HC, Co-Director of WHO Collaborating Centre for Oral Health-General Health: and Emeritus Professor, University College London, UK

Objective: To recognize the challenges of caring for vulnerable migrants.