This year marks the centennial of the Journal of Dental Research (JDR), a peer-reviewed medical journal that disseminates new knowledge and information on various sciences relevant to dentistry. To celebrate, the JDR is featuring a yearlong commemorative article and podcast series that highlights topics that have been instrumental in helping transform dental, oral and craniofacial research over the past 100 years.
According to the JDR, the past years have seen great developments in dentistry. Notably, people have recognized the importance and value of behavioral sciences in helping to expand understanding of oral health and to embrace broader biopsychosocial models of health and disease in dentistry.
In a recent JDR centennial article, titled “Behavioral sciences in the promotion of oral health,” Prof. Colman McGrath, a clinical professor in dental public health in the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Hong Kong in China, discussed how this broadened perspective has shifted the focus away from dental treatment to the promotion of good oral health habits.
“Over the past 100 years, key oral health behaviors have been identified including diet, oral hygiene and dental services, and the relationship between individual factors and the broader environmental factors has been increasingly emphasized, leading to a united call for action in addressing oral health inequalities,” said McGrath.
“More recently behavioral therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, are increasingly being employed in dental practice in the management of dental anxiety, pain and psychosomatic dental and oral problems with promising results,” he added. “There is a need to consider training for dental professionals, resources and tools for implementation and a systematic approach of what interventions to use, how to employ them, when and for how long, in addition to determining the cost-effectiveness and benefits of such approaches.”
The article is accompanied by the JDR centennial podcast “Behavioral sciences in the promotion of oral health,” featuring a conversation between McGrath and Dr. Lois K. Cohen, a consultant with Lois K. Cohen Associates and a Paul G. Rogers Ambassador for Global Health Research, and moderated by JDR Associate Editor Prof. Falk Schwendicke of Charité—Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany.