Home > REFUGEE POPULATIONS: Special Oral Health Considerations 1 CEU

Virtual Dontics presents 'LIVE' Online Continuing Dental Education (CE):

Refugee Populations: Special Oral Health Considerations for the Dental Clinician
3 Continuing Education Hours (3 CEUs)
Instructor: Dr. Kirsten Roling, D.D.S.


In 2015, the United States resettled 69,933 refugees and granted asylum status to 25,199 in 2013; making the United States the world's "top resttlement country" for refugees. For refugees fleeing from repressive, autocratic, or conflict-embroiled nations, or members of vulnerable social groups in countries around the world, migration is a means of survival, and resettlement provides safety.

By the end of 2014, wars, conflict, and persecution worldwide continued to unfold, and the number of internationally displaced refugees reached 59.5 million. This is the highest number every recorded according to the United Nations. By mid-2014 there were more than 1.2 million asylum seekers worldwide.

Ongoing war in Syria alone has led more than 4.1 million people to seek refuge in neighboring countries and beyond and to the internal displacement of more than 7.6 million Syrians. Ongoing war in Syria alone has led more than 4.1 million people to seek refuge in neighboring countries and beyond and to the internal displacement of more than 7.6 million Syrians.

In response to this humanitarian crisis, the Obama administration proposed to significantly increase the number of refugees the United States accepts each year—from 70,000 in FY 2015 to 85,000 in FY 2016 and 100,000 in FY 2017—and scale up the number of Syrian refugees admitted to at least 10,000 for the current fiscal year, which began October 1. (Migration Policy Institute 2015).

It has become increasingly important for the dental clinician to avail themselves to the unique oral health conditions that are posed by refugee populations. Oral abnormalities are the number one health consideration in refugee children, and the second most common health concern in adult refugees. Poor oral health among refugees may be a result of a limited diet and lack of access to dental health care in refugee camps, and in some cases may also be a result of torture. In the larger U.S. population, access to preventative and restorative dental services plays an important role in oral health status. Health access is influenced by factors such as limited literacy, socioeconomic status, and insurance. Despite refugees being considered a vulnerable population, certain refugee demographic groups may have very good oral health status (a low prevalence of caries) as a result of excellent oral health practices and a diet with little refined sugar. As refugees adopt a western diet, they may become more susceptible to poor oral health, particularly if they do not have adequate access to U.S. dental care or have not adopted U.S. oral hygiene guidelines.

This Live, Webinar course will present the latest evidence based knowledge regarding refugee oral health.

Course objectives:
  • Review refugee resettling trends according to U.S. metro areas.
  • Understand the prevalence of oral disease in refugee populations,
  • Discuss cultural differences regarding oral hygiene.
  • Review of nutrition, western diet, and food deserts on the oral health of resettled populations.
  • Understand the affect of trauma and torture on oral health and providing treatment.
  • Recognize trauma informed practice when treating refugees.
  • Know resources in your community to obtain interpretation and translation services,
  • Realizing your role in providing humanitarian efforts to refugees.
Virtual Dontics is recognized as an approved continuing dental education provider by the Dental Board of California, RP5437.

Virtual Dontics™ is an Online 'Live' Continuing Education Platform for the Dental Community. Earn Dental CE Online today! from Virtual Dontics on Vimeo.