The aim of the Oral Health Observatory is to understand current needs in dental care related to patients and dental professionals at different levels: local (country-wise), regional and global. It focuses on three main areas of interest: behaviour, clinical and dental practice. Within this context, FDI acts as global convener in oral health and invites all its members to participate.
The information collected will allow analysis of current needs in dental care, according to demand, guidance, policy and funding. This will help shape the medium-term planning of professional resources and oral health systems.
Behavioural and clinical data in addition to information from the dental practices are collected directly from a network of local dentists. National Dental Associations are responsible for the recruitment of participating dentists. This network of general dental practitioners is responsible for interviewing and "observing" adults and children in their country. Data is collected in a systematic manner using the same core indicators guaranteeing its comparability across different levels.
A pilot project was carried out by three National Dental Associations in three countries: Germany, Mexico and The Netherlands from April to July 2015. During the pilot, the project "know how" was evaluate and fine-tuned for its future implementation.