Oral Health Assessment and Review
In March 2011, SDCEP published the Oral Health Assessment and Review (OHAR) Guidance in Brief(PDF). During the SDCEP guidance development process TRiaDS conducted a diagnostic analysis of current practice and dentists’ attitudes towards conducting an oral health assessment (OHA) in primary care practice.
A full report detailing the findings from telephone interviews conducted with dentists who participated in the consultation are available in the Consultation Interviews Report (PDF). The feedback gathered highlighted a number of potential barriers to conducting an OHA in practice.
To further explore these barriers and to help understand how they might be addressed an in-practice implementation study was conducted in a small number of primary care practices across Scotland. A summary of the findings is available in the OHAR Implementation Study Executive Summary (PDF).
All dentists working in the General Dental Service in Scotland are required to undertake 15 hours of clinical audit every three years. In June 2011, NHS Education for Scotland’s TRiaDS programme led the development of a national, pre-approved online audit on OHA to support dentists meet their audit requirements before 31 August 2011. In addition the audit aimed to support dentists introduce OHAs into their routine practice and inform the future implementation of SDCEP’s OHAR guidance. The OHA Audit Executive Summary (PDF) provides a summary of the findings.
Review of evidence
In order to support and inform SDCEP’s review of the evidence underpinning the current OHAR guidance, a questionnaire was developed to ascertain dentists’ behaviours and beliefs regarding OHAR. This questionnaire (PDF) was sent to dentists across Scotland in March 2019.
Three hundred and eighty-eight dentists completed the questionnaire; 86% worked within the General Dental Service, and 85% were either principal or associate dentists. Participants reported: the elements of oral health assessments they assessed and/or recorded; how important each oral health assessment element was for the purposes of treatment planning; and their beliefs about completing an oral health assessment. Results revealed the key influences on the provision of oral health assessments included: remuneration, IT systems, and the time required to conduct the assessment. A paper based on this work has been submitted for publication to a peer-reviewed journal.