Dental public health


Explore our work in dental public health, one of our areas of research expertise in Dental and Oral Health

Dental public health research involves looking at how clinicians work with patients from different demographics, to promote oral health and prevent disease. This can affect quality of life, lead to poor school attendance, difficulties in speech and eating problems.

Our research focuses on monitoring and improving oral health. We seek to understand how clinicians work with patients from different demographics to promote oral health and prevent diseases. Our research also investigates barriers to dental care to ensure high quality dentistry is available to all.

We explore issues around health promotion and intervention in early years and primary schools, and the impact on children's oral health. We also investigate whether outreach dental care can make a positive impact on tackling inequality, lack of dental care and poor diet. 

Our research covers the following topics

  • Oral health promotion
  • Oral health inequalities
  • Dental technology
  • Oral disease
  • Dental services

Methods and facilities

Our research uses a mix of qualitative and quantitative techniques, including surveys, interviews and focus groups. We also engage in big data research, using existing routine data sets to monitor patient profiles and model different health care delivery.

Dental public health research is patient and community facing. We have a large data warehouse of patient profiles and activity, which provides invaluable data for our research. Our dental students deliver quality comprehensive oral and dental health care in our Dental Clinics to around 3,000 local people every year.

Our research informs our undergraduate and postgraduate research degree programmes.


  • The Oral and Dental Trust have funded 6 projects in the last 6 years
  • Public Health England gave £5,000 for our dental animation project
  • Southampton City Council gave £5000 to evaluate their pilot healthy early years oral health programme
  • Solent Trust has provided £50,000 to support our research

Speaking to families about children's oral health

Explore family responses to dental research

We asked family groups about their understanding of children's oral health and dental research in collaboration with the Solent Academy of Research and Improvement, and the National Institute for Health Research. Watch their feedback and experiences, and their opinions on oral health research activities. 

Publication highlights

Discover our areas of expertise

Dental public health is one of our areas of research expertise in Dental and Oral Health – explore the others below.

Dental education

We're focusing on the development and evaluation of education for the dental team, and working to develop new operative and learning tools for dentistry.
Dental students working on a phantom head
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Clinical innovation

We're conducting studies that consider and test advanced clinical and diagnostic techniques, efficient models of clinical care, and novel clinical materials.
Flouride varnish being applied to a test card
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Interested in a PhD in Dental & Oral Health?

Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Dental & Oral Health postgraduate research degrees page.