Oral Health Observatory

Oral diseases affect half of the world’s population (3.58 billion people), making them the most common noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) globally. Dental caries (tooth decay) in the permanent teeth is the most prevalent oral disease, with an estimated 2.4 billion people affected.

Oral diseases affect people throughout their lifetime, causing pain, discomfort, disfigurement and even death.

However, despite their widespread nature, reliable, standardized global data are limited. Oral health data are rarely integrated into national disease surveillance, particularly in low-and middle-income countries. There is an urgent need to assess the true impact of oral diseases and develop strategies to abate them in order to improve health outcomes in a measurable way.

Collecting data to improve oral health outcomes

The Oral Health Observatory (OHO) was launched in 2014 to generate standardized data on oral health. An app and online questionnaires have been developed for dental practitioners and patients to collect data on oral health behaviours, healthcare needs, and the impact of oral health on quality of life. The analysis of the collected data will provide the basis for advocacy work carried out by FDI, National Dental Associations and other interested stakeholders at the national and international level.

Project goals

Collect standardized oral health data on a global level

Evaluate the oral healthcare needs of patients and dental practitioners at national and global levels to optimize service provision

Use data to identify oral health trends and influence policymakers to invest in oral diseases to improve overall health outcomes

Dentists collect oral health data using the OHO App

OHO has developed an app and online questionnaires to facilitate the analysis of current oral healthcare needs for patients and dental practitioners at the national and global level.

The patient and the dentist submit data on the patient’s oral health status, quality of life, health habits and other health determinants via the app. An additional online questionnaire collects specific data on the participating dental practices.

The app is free, destined for all dentists, and can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store:

App Store badge

Google Play store badge

To get the most out of the OHO app, we encourage participants to request a user account from FDI. Registered users can then log-in to the OHO app and will receive updates from FDI about the data collected in their practice.

The deployment of the Oral Health Observatory project in 10 countries is currently supported by GSK.

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