8th Edition of International Conference on Dentistry
and Oral Health

August 24-26, 2023 | Virtual Event

August 24-26, 2023 | Online Event
ICDO 2018

Mehak Batra

Mehak Batra, Speaker at Oral Health Conferences
LaTrobe University Melbourne, Australia
Title: Is oral health a priority for South Asians residing in high-income countries?


Migration involves the loss of one’s own familiar environment and a constant struggle between adaption to a new environment or culture and preserving their own tradition or practices from their homeland. Migrants from South Asia such as India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Maldives and Afghanistan are often considered to have poor oral health due to numerous factors that include economic, cultural, religious, dietary, social, language and communication challenges. Given that migrants from these regions form a large proportion of the migrant population in high-income countries, it is important to better understand their knowledge, beliefs, and behaviours of oral health. 
Our aim is to conduct a systematic review of dental studies involving South Asian migrants, which focus on knowledge, beliefs, and behaviours.
A systematic search of seven electronic databases and hand searching for peer-reviewed human studies published, in English, were carried out. Each study was assessed based on explicit inclusion and exclusion criteria designed before commencing the search. Quality assessment of the studies was conducted.
Out of 1614 records identified, only 19 were included for synthesis based on the eligibility criteria. The 19 selected studies were further classified into quantitative studies (12) and qualitative studies (7). Numerous barriers to assessing dental services were emphasized in the qualitative studies such as absence of cultural sensitivity in existing services, language barriers and lack of trust in the health professional. Whereas the results of the quantitative studies showed wide variation in migrant’s behaviour specifically observed in their frequency of tooth brushing or visiting a dentist. Beliefs impacted by culture play a significant role in dental health. Surprisingly, oral health was reported as the least health priority for South Asian migrants.
There is an urgent need to address a growing problem among South Asian migrants and their oral health behaviours.  Our review provides evidence that dental health services available in high-income countries are not suited to South Asian's beliefs and behaviours. Major policy changes are necessary at the community level to educate both the South Asian communities and oral health practitioners to reduce this growing health disparity.


Mehak Batra is currently pursuing her PhD in Public Health in Australia. Mehak has always been interested in this field with her majors in the post-graduation program being Public Health Dentistry. Since completing her post-graduation, Mehak has been working as a researcher in the field of Public Health Dentistry. She has collaborated regularly with diverse research faculties on a number of different research projects. Mehak has 13 research publications in varied international journals. She has also been a presenter at a number of conferences. Mehak has a keen interest in biostatistics and advanced statistical methods for clinical research. She is a strong supporter of gender equality in professional practice.