Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Heide Castañeda, M.P.H, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Susan Greenbaum, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David Himmelgreen, Ph.D.


Migrant farmworker health, social determinants of health, healthcare barriers, poverty, food security.


Oral health is an important aspect of overall health, but many vulnerable populations such as migrant farmworkers are without access to oral healthcare. Although some non-government organizations such as faith-based organizations have attempted to fill gaps left by government and private sectors, a lack of a dental safety net creates limited access to oral health services for migrant farmworkers. Access to care is further constrained by structural factors including low wages, migration route, and high costs of care. Building off a critical medical anthropology approach in understanding oral healthcare access, I argue that limited oral health access for migrant workers in the Tampa Bay area is the result of economic constraints and not cultural beliefs or educational shortcomings. This research therefore demonstrates the social determinants of oral health, and how social disparities can become embodied in marginalized groups such as migrant farmworkers.