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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 125-131

Geographic information systems in spatial epidemiology: Unveiling new horizons in dental public health


1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Civil Engineering, Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India
4 Department of Public Health Dentistry, YMT Dental College and Hospital, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Prajna Pramod Nayak
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka.
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jispcd.JISPCD_413_20

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Objectives: Research on the role of environment and place in various aspects of dental public health using geographic information systems (GIS) is escalating rapidly. Yet, the understanding of GIS and the analytical tools that it offers are still vaguely understood. This narrative review therefore draws from the utilization of GIS in the dental public health research. Materials and Methods: Electronic databases such as Google Scholar, PUBMED, and Scopus were searched using terms “spatial epidemiology,” “GIS,” “geographic information systems,” “health geography,” “environment public health tracking,” “spatial distribution,” “disease mapping,” “geographic correlation studies,” “cartography,” “big data,” and “disease clustering” through December 2019. Results: This review builds upon the prospects of GIS application in various aspects of dental public health. Studies were classified as: (1) GIS for mapping of disease, population at risk, and risk factors; (2) GIS in geographic correlation studies; (3) GIS for gauging healthcare accessibility and spatial distribution of healthcare providers. We also identified the commonly used GIS analytical techniques in oral epidemiology. Conclusions: We anticipate that this review will spur advancement in the utilization of spatial analytical techniques and GIS in the dental public health research.


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