A Global Overview of the Geographical Distribution of Dentists: A Scoping Review

Mariana Gabriel, Cayetano, Maristela Honório Maristela Honório, Galante, M. L., Campos de Almeida Carrer, F. C., G Dussault, Araujo, Maria Ercilia de

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2 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this study was to identify and analyze the geographic distribution of dentists, in the global context, through available scientific evidence, highlighting the following aspects: 1) the determinants of the geographic distribution of dentists, 2) corrective intervention implemented, and 3) their monitoring and evaluation. A scoping review of the published and gray literature was carried out in scientific databases and in relevant websites. We used an adaptation of a World Health Organization framework to study the distribution of human resources in health to analyze selected publications. After applying the eligibility criteria, 53 publications were included in the review; 10 related to the determinants of geographical distribution, 5 to interventions implemented, and 38 to the monitoring and evaluation process. More studies are needed to identify local determinants of the geographical distribution of dentists and to define adapted intervention strategies to make it more equitable. Knowledge Transfer Statement: The geographic inequality of dentists is a problem for health systems because it has a direct impact on access to services and the oral health conditions of a population. Our study was based on a theoretical conceptual framework formulated in 3 components: 1) determinants of the geographical distribution, 2) strategies implemented to correct the problem, and 3) monitoring and evaluation. It can assist in designing oral health policy and guide decisions by policy makers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-237
Number of pages8
JournalJDR Clinical and Translational Research
VolumeVol. 3
Issue numbern.º 3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • Access to health care
  • Community dentistry
  • Dentistry
  • Human resources in dentistry
  • Oral health
  • Public policies

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    Gabriel, M., Maristela Honório, C. M. H., M. L., G., F. C., C. D. A. C., Dussault, G., & Maria Ercilia de, A. (2018). A Global Overview of the Geographical Distribution of Dentists: A Scoping Review. JDR Clinical and Translational Research, Vol. 3(n.º 3), 229-237. https://doi.org/10.1177/2380084418774316