As a dentist, dental hygienist, dental assistant, or other oral health professional, it is essential to understand the role of cultural competency in providing quality oral health care. Cultural competency is the ability to understand and respect the cultural and linguistic backgrounds of patients, and to provide services that are tailored to their needs. This online learning program is designed to equip dental professionals with the knowledge, skills, and awareness needed to provide the best oral health services to all patients, regardless of their cultural or linguistic background. The program focuses on topics such as cultural competence, access to periodontal care, instrumentation and treatment, the cessation of substance use, and the expansion of education for dental hygienists.
It is important to recognize that even in the midst of financial barriers that providers may not be able to address directly, providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services can help providers communicate more effectively with patients about the importance of oral health care, the consequences of inattention, and how to access care and navigate the dental system to get the help they need. The overall objective of this e-learning program is to provide oral health professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to provide culturally appropriate and responsive oral health care to the culturally and linguistically diverse populations they serve. This includes understanding how cultural differences can affect patient-provider communication, recognizing how language barriers can impede access to care, and being aware of how financial constraints can limit access to care. It is also important to recognize that vulnerable and underserved populations such as low-income populations and racial and ethnic minorities often face numerous barriers to dental care.
For example, Deamonte died because he did not have medical or dental insurance, he could not afford the dental procedure or the cost of antibiotics. By understanding the role of cultural competency in oral health care delivery systems, dental professionals can ensure that all patients receive quality care regardless of their cultural or linguistic background. This e-learning program provides a comprehensive guide for dental professionals who are looking to improve their understanding of cultural competency in oral health care delivery systems.