Honduras Public Health, Dental Public Health, Dental Education, Honduras Health Policy


Dental Public Health and Education | Medicine and Health Sciences


Dr. Jeremiah Cataldo


Rural Honduras encompasses many individuals with limited access to a dental professional. Many public health studies demonstrate that dental shortage areas have more dental cavities, missing teeth, and more complex restorations that need periodic treatment. Dental hygiene is undermined at home with limited access to oral health advocates, and dental education becomes more essential. Here, we report an educational consensus and perspectives of rural Honduras through a questionnaire distributed at 13 mobile dental clinics in remote villages. To assess the effectiveness of education, the World Health Organization (WHO) has deemed two important indices in assessing trends: Community Periodontal Index of Treatment Needs (CPITN) and Decayed, Missing due to caries and Filled Teeth (DMFT). These two previous indices are reported and discussed to determine the importance of future research trends that need to be made to assess the effectiveness of future education and policy implementation. Finally, we look at barriers to dental access to analyze different forces that are detrimental to rural Hondurans to offer policy implementation to the nation's current business model of healthcare. Eight hundred seventy-three patients who visited the clinics were screened, and 502 individuals were asked to answer the questionnaire from the set of parameters. Of the 220 participants who answered the questionnaire, every respondent deemed finding a dentist difficult, with 160 (73%) claiming they had not visited a dentist in the past two years. This demonstrated a need to increase access to the rural Honduras population of dental professionals. Of the respondents who had not seen a dentist in the past two years, the at-home hygiene education was statistically different from the 60 who had seen a dentist in the last two years, demonstrating a further need to increase education on dental cleaning within the rural area Honduras population. The indices reviewed were not sufficient to provide current statistical measures on the nation’s dental health, resulting in a need to procure future research on the state of rural Honduras’s dental health. Lastly, policy analysis found that educational, financial, infrastructural, technological, and accountability standards must be reviewed through changing policies to improve limited access for rural Hondurans.