The results of the Adult Dental Health Survey 2009 findings will be published this Wednesday (8 December).
The survey – which takes place every ten years – is a ‘snapshot’ of dental health across England, Northern Ireland and Wales.
Around 6,500 adults across the three nations had their teeth examined as part of the survey.
The 2009 survey is the fifth in a series of national dental surveys and had taken place every 10 years since 1968, but was delayed last year due to a ‘departmental reorganisation’, according the chief dental officer for England Barry Cockcroft. At the time of his announcement at the BDA conference in May 2008, he promised that it would take place in 2009. The research – carried out by a consortium led by the Office for National Statistics – will investigate attitudes to dental hygiene and treatment, and find out how healthy our teeth really are. Its aim is to reflect the current state of the adult nation’s oral health and is conducted by the Office of National Statistics and some dental schools. Combined with results from the earlier surveys, this ‘snapshot’ will identify trends in dental health and in ways people seek treatment. The survey is funded by the English, Welsh and Northern Irish Health Departments. The research is being conducted by ONS in partnership with the National Centre for Social Research in England and Wales, and the Northern Ireland Statistical Research Agency. Each person will be interviewed about attitudes to dental care and will then be invited to take part in a 20-minute dental examination carried out in their own home by an NHS dentist. ONS has teamed up with five university dental centres across the UK – Dundee, Newcastle, Birmingham, Cardiff and University College London – who in turn have recruited NHS dentists to examine the nation’s mouths. Adults taking part are randomly sampled by ONS. They must be over the age of 16 – and must possess at least one natural tooth to participate. At the time of the postponement, critics suggested the Government had opted for the delay due to the lack of access created by the April 2006 contract – and the effects on adult dental health because of this.