Four barriers to oral healthcare


In developing countries, dental disease, mainly dental caries and periodontal disease, continues to be highly prevalent despite improvements in the oral health of the general population in many countries throughout the world over recent decades.


Populations from developing countries repeatedly report suboptimal utilization of dental care services.


Various barriers prevent people with disabilities from accessing appropriate dental care and other healthcare services. Oral care barriers include anything that limits or prevents people from receiving adequate health care, including dental care. In many cases, multiple barriers to care may be involved. Common obstacles to watch include:


  • Oral health literacy 
  • Psychological factors 
  • Financial factors 
  • Patients with special needs



An increased understanding of oral health literacy will enable patients to see the value and ask for services and will inspire communities to work towards improving oral health.



The lack of access to dental services, knowledge about oral health, and inability to communicate in English are some of the issues under literacy.




  • Providing comprehensive oral health education
  • Providing oral health exams
  • Equipping teachers with creative educational tools
  • A training program for daycare providers and school nurses in the importance of oral health, including nutrition and maintaining healthy teeth
  • Offering dental information to pediatricians regarding bottled water, fluoridated water, fluoridated varnishes, and appropriate diets
  • Providing multifactor interventions and educational programs to families with young children by distributing information through the public media and hospitals



Oral health knowledge and practices differ by ethnicity and culture. To truly understand the importance of oral health, one must act upon it, and action becomes engrained as value.  Education alone doesn't lead to patient engagement and positive outcomes regarding proper oral health care.



  • Providing dentists and their dental teams with information about cultural diversity concerns will help dentists reduce or eliminate communication barriers and help patients understand treatment and treatment options better.
  • Breaking down cultural barriers and providing oral health information in multiple languages through multiple community channels
  • Working with Indian Health Services (IHS) and community organizations such as COPE.14




Good oral health is essential for overall health and well-being. In addition to healthy habits and preventive care, income also plays a crucial role in affecting oral health and access to oral health care. When dental problems occur, vulnerable groups are less likely to seek preventive care and wait longer to seek treatment resulting in a significant burden of oral disease. Due to employer-provided dental benefits and out-of-pocket costs, the current oral health care system creates inequitable access to care.




  • The provision of tax credits to dentists who establish and operate dental practices that serve vulnerable populations
  • Creating dental clinics in hospitals to treat dental emergencies that community clinics cannot treat because of complex and systemic issues
  • Funding for dentists who provide oral health care within hospital dental clinics
  • Medicaid fees should be raised at least to the 75th percentile of dentists' fees.
  • Simplifying Medicaid rules, eliminating unnecessary paperwork, and facilitating electronic filing
  • Educating Medicaid officials on the unique nature of dentistry 
  • Funding innovative oral health programs through federal block grants
  • The requirement for mandatory annual dental examinations (as with immunizations) for children entering school



The term "special needs patient" refers to patients with disabilities, elderly, and medical conditions or comorbidities requiring additional care. In vulnerable populations, a large number of patients have special needs, making it vital that they receive high-quality dental care by dentists who are educated and licensed.




  • Providing funding for general practice residency (GPR), advanced education in general dentistry (AEGD), and pediatric dentistry residency programs.
  • Finding educational materials on how to care for pediatric and special needs patients for dentists.


If you are facing any kind of barrier hindering you from taking oral care, then you can contact MyDentalPlan to seek all your oral health issues and get effective treatment for them. At MyDentalPlan, you can speak to highly skilled dentists, as it is one of India's Largest Dental Network platforms.




About the Author:

Suprithi Choudhary, M.Pharm (Pharmacology) Medical Content writer

Suprithi is a Pharma Professional working as a medical content writer and previously worked as a Research Scientist and Senior Research Analyst


  • C.M Academy
  • Attended the Panjab University- Chandigarh, Pharma post-graduate in Pharmacology

Special thanks to Dr Deepak Kulkarni, a dental surgeon with over 23 years of experience who proofread this blog. He graduated from the H.K.E's Dental College, Gulbarga, and has certifications in ACHS International Accreditation Education Plan; Advanced Rotary Endodontic - Restorative Continuum; and Leadership, Team Building and Customer Service Leadership from the Oscar Murphy International.

  • dental health
  • oral care
  • dental treatment concern