Australia investigates oral health of population in national study

05 April 2017 Research

The University of Adelaide is conducting a national study of adult oral health for the first time in more than a decade. The 2017-2018 study will randomly select 15,000 Australians to interview over the phone or via a web-based survey and will offer free dental examinations to assess their oral health.

The AU$5.8 million study will evaluate the level of oral disease among adults, and the effectiveness, sustainability and equity of dental services across Australia. The study will be conducted by the Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health (ARCPOH) in the University’s Adelaide Dental School, in partnership with federal, state and territory departments of health and dental services.

"Our study will inform government policymakers and dental service providers about the delivery of fair and effective dental services for all Australians over the next decade and more. Importantly, the results of our study will directly impact on the dental care people receive in the community, which in turn will impact on their quality of life."
Prof. Marco Peres, Director of ARCPOH and Prof. of Population Oral Health at the University of Adelaide

The study will also monitor the 5500 participants from the previous national study 10 years ago, also conducted by ARCPOH at the University of Adelaide, to provide a more detailed picture of the state of Australia's oral health over time. The University of Adelaide also offers a Bachelor of Oral Health to improve people’s oral health and promote awareness on how oral and general health are closely connected.

"Oral health is vitally important to our general health – with well-established links to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and many other conditions – as well as to people's quality of life. Unlike general medical care, the high cost of dental care is largely borne by the individual. And with some oral diseases being very expensive to treat, this places a large section of our community at a further disadvantage, with treatment being almost unattainable for some people. It's critical that we understand the changes in dental health among adult Australians, and the quality, prevalence and accessibility of services they receive.”
Prof. Marco Peres, Director of ARCPOH and Prof. of Population Oral Health at the University of Adelaide