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Keywords:

  • epidemiology;
  • population health;
  • public health

Abstract

The term ‘population health’ is part of the natural evolution of the science of epidemiology. With the recognition of the importance of a life-course approach to help understand health along with the recognition of the importance of the wider determinants of health, epidemiology requires new techniques and thinking. ‘Population health’ recognizes that to improve oral health, then the determinants have to be tackled. These include both those that may be described as belonging to the environment and those influenced by the care system. The key issue for policy development is the need to recognize that with globalization and the extended time frame to undertake research, partnerships will be a key necessity to help ensure success in addressing inequalities and overall levels of health.