Culturally-Safe Dental Care Project

An increased understanding of what culturally safe dental care means for Indigenous South Australians, the delivery of such care, and empirical evidence of how culturally safe dental care leads to better prognosis for chronic diseases linked with poor oral health.


This NHMRC-funded project aims to:

  • Elicit the views of Indigenous South Australians regarding their perspectives of what comprises culturally safe dental care.
  • Provide such dental care, and
  • Assess any changes in both oral and general health using point-of-care testing following receipt of timely, comprehensive and culturally safe dental care.

Study design

This mixed-methods study will involve qualitative interviews and an intervention without randomisation.

The qualitative component will comprise seeking perspectives of Indigenous South Australians regarding what culturally safe dental care means for them.

For the intervention component, participants will take part in oral epidemiological examinations at baseline and 12-month follow-up (after receipt of culturally safe dental care), which will include collection of saliva, plaque, blood and urine, and completion of a self-report questionnaire.

The primary outcome measures – changes in type 2 diabetes (HbA1c), cardiovascular disease (CRP) and chronic kidney disease (ACR) - will be obtained by blood/urine spot from a finger prick/urine collection at baseline and 12-month follow-up via point-of-care testing. 


This will be important for health services planning, especially in the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation sector, where the management of dental diseases in a culturally safe manner for better chronic disease outcomes is currently insufficiently understood, planned and budgeted.