Hannah Cantrell Awarded the Dental Anthropology Association’s Dahlberg Prize for Best Paper

Departmental News

Posted:  Mar 31, 2022 - 01:00pm

Hannah Cantrell, an undergraduate in the Department of Anthropology, has won the Dental Anthropology Association’s Dahlberg Prize for best paper, an award normally given to a graduate student.  

Title: The Root of the Problem: Dental Health Disparities in New Mexico

Abstract: Factors that contribute to somatic health disparities also contribute to dental health disparities. Using postmortem CT scans from the New Mexico Decedent Image Database, we investigated dental health among recently (2010-2017) deceased New Mexicans. We predicted that race/ethnicity, substance use (drinking and tobacco), and rural living are associated with poorer dental health. The sample (n = 305) represents 32 of the 33 counties in the state, with equal representation of sex and population (European American [EA], Hispanic/Latinx [HL], and Native American [NA]). Data included presence/absence for missing teeth, restorations, abscesses, and severely decayed teeth. Analyses incorporated logistic regression, odds ratios, and probability plots. Missing teeth correlated with sex, race/ethnicity (HL and NA, compared to EA), heavy tobacco use, and SES (middle and lower class). Females were 3.8 times more likely and NA decedents were 4.4 times more likely to have missing teeth. High drinking decedents were 1.6 times more likely and females were 1.7 times more likely to have restorations. Severely decayed teeth and abscesses correlated with race/ethnicity (HL and NA). Our study revealed that being female, high drinking status, heavy tobacco use, SES, and being NA or EA negatively effects dental health among New Mexicans.