Oral Health Access: Insights and Solutions

Oral health is recognized as a basic Human Right and a fundamental aspect of overall health and well-being. Despite all the evidence, oral health services are not included in the benefit coverage of Universal Health Coverage programs in many countries. In countries where some coverage exists, essential preventive and clinical services show large gaps, especially for vulnerable, disadvantaged, rural, or poorer populations.

In March 2023, FDI organized a full-day roundtable to review existing evidence on the challenges of universal access to oral care. Participants discussed what constitutes appropriate access to oral care, and reviewed replicable best practices for expanding access to oral care through integration into primary health care systems, including underserved populations.

This podcast covers the perspectives of three experts representing different fields of practice (clinical practice and service management, policy analysis, and advocacy and academia). Tony and guests’ discussion provides a robust picture of the key elements of appropriate access to oral care.

Read all about it in our recently published White Paper: Access to Oral Healthcare.

In this episode: 

  1. You will learn about the importance and the meaning of universal access to oral healthcare
  2. You will listen to the different perspectives of experts in the fields of policy analysis, advocacy, academia, and clinical practice
  3. You will learn about what is needed to achieve universal access to oral healthcare
WOHD Podcast_OH Acess

Are you interested in Universal Access to Oral Healthcare? Share your thoughts with us via text or audio recording: communications@fdiworlddental.org

About this episode’s guests:

Dr Irving McKenzie

Dr Irving McKenzie

Chief Dental Officer, Jamaica

Dr McKenzie is a Fellow and Registrar of the International College of Dentistry for the English Speaking Caribbean, Fellow of the Academy of Dentistry International, Fellow of the Pierre Fauchard Academy, Board Member of the Board of Directors for the American Board of Dental Examiners, Member of The Commission on Dental Competency Assessment (CDCA), Western Regional Board of Dental Examiners (WREB) and the Central Interstate Testing Agency (CITA) -, Member of the Jamaica Dental Association, Jamaica Association of Public Dental Surgeons and the Institute of Dental Consultants. And most notably proud to be part of FDI.

About the host


Tony Johnston

Tony Johnston is a broadcast journalist with 35 years of media experience. He was a presenter on Australia's top-rating travel programme 'The Great Outdoors', hosted the arrival of the Olympic flame for the Sydney 2000 Olympics and is a team-Emmy award recipient for the 'Wonder World' TV programme. Tony is Swiss-based and produces digital content for International Organizations.


Prof. Manu Mathur

Queen Mary University of London

 Manu is a Dental Surgeon with more than 15 years of global experience of working in different health systems. He is currently working as Professor of Dental Public Health at Queen Mary University of London and Head of Health Policy at Public Health Foundation of India. He has a PhD in Epidemiology and Population Health from University College London and a Masters in Public Health from the University of Glasgow.

Manu is a Commissioner on the recently constituted Lancet Commission on Global Oral Health and Vice President of the Global Oral Health Inequalities Research Network of International Association for Dental Research. He has more than 100 peer-reviewed publications in leading international journals, has been the principal investigator on many projects funded by Government of India, WHO, MRC-UK, BMGF, USAID and NIH-USA. His areas of expertise cover epidemiologic methods, operations, health systems and policy research, and health promotion.

Dr Grace Dubois

Dr Grace Dubois

Senior Policy and Advocacy Manager – NCD Alliance

Dr Grace Dubois works as Senior Policy and Advocacy Manager with the NCD Alliance (NCDA) team aiming to unite civil society and drive action on care for people living with noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), leaving no one behind. Grace is responsible for running NCDA's advocacy campaigns across this agenda including outreach to World Health Organization, Geneva-based missions, and multi-lateral organizations. She is a medical doctor by background with a Master’s in Public Health and has over 10 years of experience working at global and national levels in health policy and implementation.

Additional resources

Access to Oral Health Care
Access to Oral Health
FDI Access to Oral Health Care
White paper