Public Health & Community Dentistry
James J. Crall, DDS, ScD
Welcome to the Division of Public Health and Community Dentistry. The skills necessary for a career in public health are those required to care for a community as well as individuals within the community. Through our teaching program, research program and community service our Division continues to meet this challenge.
We are grateful for our organizational partners including The California Endowment, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Archstone Foundation, Project Grad, Mission Community Hospital, CSUN Student Health Center and College Bound, who have supported our work in community settings.
The objectives of the teaching program are to allow students to critically evaluate scientific literature; be exposed to legal, professional, and ethical issues in dentistry; acquire philosophy and methods of preventive dentistry and epidemiology; assess dental care quality; understand public policy issues related to dentistry; develop communication, interviewing, and patient management skills; understand organization and administration of dental practice; and provide students with both clinical and health promotion experiences in community-based settings.
Our faculty’s research interests cover many areas of health services and community-based issues. These range from the changes that are occurring in dentistry due to globalization to the validity of the Oral Health Status Index. Evaluation techniques, oral health disparities and access to health care in different populations, epidemiology, sociology, anthropology, and statistical modeling are disciplines used to address the issues that face minority populations, practitioners and training programs. Our recent research involves developing perceived measure of oral health that may be useful in calibrating clinical assessed oral health status and in HIV. Aside from foundation funding, the Division currently has three NIH grants.
Teaching programs at two off-site dental clinics, California State University Northridge (CSUN) Klotz Student Health Center and Mission Community Hospital's San Fernando Community Campus for Health and Education, provide patient care experiences to predoctoral students.
In addition, the Division is responsible for providing screening, sealants and fluoride treatments to children at health fairs in underserved communities and in elementary schools.