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Published on October 5, 2010

British Dental Journal Publishes England’s First Regional Adult Dental Health Survey

The British Dental Journal has this month published the first region-wide dental survey of adults ever undertaken in England.

A collaborative project featuring input from the Yorkshire and Humber Public Health Observatory and the region’s Strategic Health Authority, several local Primary Care Trusts and the Sheffield and Leeds Dental Schools, the survey targeted more than 25,000 adult subjects across Yorkshire and Humber in early 2008.

The survey, conducted via a multi-part questionnaire, was designed to

  • Establish self-reported oral health status and the impact of the mouth on everyday life
  • Elicit adults’ experience of using oral health services
  • Estimate the demand for dental care
  • Establish the prevalence of smoking and the proportion of subjects intending to quite

Almost half of those contacted responded, and the results revealed that

  • 92% had one or more natural teeth, with older female subjects more likely to be edentate (without any remaining natural teeth)
  • 21.1% of adults wore an upper denture, and 12.1% a lower denture, with the prevalence of denture wearing increasing with the age of the subject
  • 25.3% of subjects described their oral health as fair, poor or very poor
  • 28.8% reported experiencing tooth or mouth pain in the last 12 months, and 32.8% experienced discomfort when eating
  • 80.3% of subjects had visited the dentist in the past two years, and 1.3% had never attended a dentist appointment
  • 17.5% of subjects were self-described smokers at the time they were surveyed
  • 7.9% of smokers intended to quit in the next month

These findings correlate broadly with national trends, and will ultimately enable PCTs operating in the region to better meet the oral health needs of their patients.

Copies of the complete survey report can be downloaded from the Yorkshire and Humber Public Health Observatory website here.

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