Press Releases

Towards a Greater Degree of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Oral Health Space

Alexandria, VA – In alignment with AADOCR’s Diversity and Inclusion Statement, several symposia exploring the ongoing challenges in addressing the oral health care needs of equity-deserving populations were featured at the 52nd Annual Meeting & Exhibition of the AADOCR, held in conjunction with the 47th Annual Meeting of the CADR. The AADOCR/CADR Annual Meeting & Exhibition took place at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland on March 15-18, 2023.

The symposium, “Assessing Oral Health Disparities Through a Nationally Representative Survey,” included presentations by Adrianna Sonnek, Rebecca Preston, of the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health. Presenters analyzed findings regarding how oral health disparities affect several underserved and underrepresented sociodemographic groups as demonstrated by data from the nationally representative 2023 State of Oral Health Equity in America (SOHEA) survey from CareQuest Institute for Oral Health. The symposium took place on Wednesday, March 15th, 2023, at 8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-07:00).

The symposium, “The Essential Role of Health Equity in Oral Health Services Research,” included presentations by Tamanna Tiwari of the University of Colorado, Denver, Astha Singhal of Boston University, and John O’Malley of CareQuest Institute for Oral Health. They discussed current Health Services Research (HSR) that addresses the roles of racism and discrimination in oral health outcomes, including oral health status and access to and utilization of care, with a particular focus on both the methodological issues and the interpretation of outcomes at the population level within oral HSR. The symposium took place on Saturday, March 18th, 2023, at 9:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-07:00).

The symposium, “Diversity Matters: Advancing Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research Leaders,” took a step forward towards establishing an equitable and civil culture within the dental research enterprise and reducing barriers to racial equity in the dental research workforce. It specifically supported undergraduate, dental, and graduate students within underrepresented populations in building peer networks and establishing novel mentoring relationships. It featured presentations by Sylvia A. Frazier-Bowers of the University of Indiana, Effie Ioannidou of the University of Connecticut, Keith A. Mays of the University of Minnesota, and Marcia Sampaio Campos of the University of Michigan. The symposium took place on Wednesday, March 15th, 2023, at 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-07:00).

The symposium, “Addressing Oral Health Inequities in Priority Populations in Canada” featured presentations by Trish Goulet, Mario Brondani, Sonica Singhal, and Abbas Jessani. It covered topics such as Indigenous oral health inequities, barriers to care for low income and homeless individuals, the role of social welfare in oral health, and addressing inequities through education and service delivery reform. The symposium took place on Thursday, March 16th, 2023, at 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-07:00).

The American Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research (AADOCR) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to drive dental, oral, and craniofacial research to advance health and well-being. AADOCR represents the individual scientists, clinician-scientists, dental professionals, students based in academic, government, non-profit and private-sector institutions who share our mission. AADOCR is the largest division of the International Association for Dental Research. Learn more at