Dental Public Health Commission (Open Forum)
Friday 21st May 2021 @ BMICH, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Time Topics
Dr Lin- Yang Chi (Chinese Taipei)
Dr Hemantha Amarasinghe (Sri Lanka)
Moderator Dr Nilantha Ratnayake (Sri Lanka)
  Practice of Dental Public Health:
lessons learnt and the way forward
8.30 - 8.35 am Opening Remarks
Dr Lin- Yang Chi (Chinese Taipei) - Chair, Dental Public Health Commission
8.35 - 9.15 am  Clinical Dental Public Health
Dr Udaya Usgodaarachchi (Sri Lanka)
9.15 - 10.00 am Prevention of dental caries and periodontal disease
Dr Nirosha Ranasinghe (Sri Lanka)
10.00- 10.30 am Tea Break
10.30 - 11.15 am Applications of M-Health and Tele-dentistry in the practice of dental public health
Prof Sok Ching (Malaysia)
11.15 - 12.00 noon Application of GIS in Dental Public Health
Prof Mark Tenant (Australia)
12.00 - 12.30 pm Panel Discussion
12.30 - 12.45 pm Closing Remarks
Application of GIS in Dental Public Health

Winthrop Professor Marc Tennant BDSc PhD (WAust) FRACDS (GDP) FICD FADI
International Research Collaborative Oral Health and Equity,
School of Human Sciences,
The University of Western Australia


Marc has been a member of The University of Western Australia since the early 1990’s.  In addition, to his role as a Winthrop Professor he is currently the Director (and Founder) of the International Research Collaborative - Oral Health and Equity. The Collaborative (for 20 years now) remains a global leader in driving reform particularly focused addressing health inequality.  Marc has a lifetime focus on addressing issues of equity and justice through reforming oral health with a strong focus on closing the gap for Indigenous people.  His team is now recognised globally as the leading oral health R&D group in Western Australia and one of the most published Australians in dentistry.

Marc remains in the top half dozen dental academics in Australia for impact with 250+ publications and $20million in R&D funding. In 2020 Marc was elected by his peers at UWA to be the deputy chair of Academic Board; the peak academic leadership of the University.  He was also elected by his peers to the Board of the Royal Australasian College of Dentistry. Marc is a sort-after advisor to governments and institutions across Australia and internationally and has been at the forefront of structural reform in oral health for nearly two decades.  His innovations have enhanced access and addressed critical issues in dental education, workforce locally, nationally and internationally. 

Marc has received many awards acknowledging this lifetime commitment to the reform agenda in oral health; recently having a café at UWA named in his honour. Marc has personally be acknowledged for his efforts by organisations across Australia and beyond for pushing the reform agenda in dentistry for more than two decades. Marc has served in many executive leadership roles (at Dean/Head of School levels) in Dental Schools in Australia.  He has led the resurgence of dental education in Australia.  Intertwining a love of data systems/evidence based decision making with an innovative streak Marc has undertaken lead roles in the start-up of all Australia’s newest Dental Schools, all of which are regionally-based and continues his lifelong efforts towards reducing social disadvantage and marginalisation.


Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are a suite of tools that have been used in public health since the times of John Snow.  Modern application of these tools has opened up the opportunity to make it more universally available and applicable in a wider range of areas.  Coupled with this the ability to collect geographic data for GIS systems has become massively easier through modern satellite-based global reach mapping data.  The team at the International Research Collaborative Oral Health and Equity, in Australia, have been at the forefront of bringing this opportunity to dental public health.  Their work from the late 1990's through to today seem them as the global leaders in the field.  They have worked with GIS and its application to dentistry across all continents and dozens of countries.  Marc will take the audience on a grand tour of the opportunities this has for application in the planning in the development of dental services.  Marc will also showcase that the opportunity to use open access data in new ways can provide answers to novel research questions with little or no cost.  Examples of the opportunity to address population-level questions and make quality policy decisions based on evidence will be highlighted.