Oral ill-health in a general Dental Practice in South Wales

Wayne Richards, Simon Scourfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose of Study. To establish and report oral health status data by measuring social impact in conjunction with clinical impact. Oral health status encompassed functional, experiential and psychosocial impact measures in addition to clinical measures. Population Studied. Registered dental patients over 18 years of age attending for routine care at a general dental practice. Method. A self-complete questionnaire based on the work of Locker1 was administered to consecutive patients as an ongoing survey evaluating service delivery and outcome. In addition clinical data were taken from the clinical examination and patient record card. Between December 1994 and June 1995, 997 patients provided a stratified sample representing the population studied. Findings. 96.7% were dentate leaving only 3.3% edentulous. A total of 15.1% were unable to chew one or more foods, 43.4% reported oral or facial pain in the previous four weeks and 62.9% experiencd one or more other symptoms. Problems with eating and communication/social interaction were reported by 47.5%, 45% worried a great deal about their oral health and 26.3% were dissatisfied with some aspect of their oral health status. Conclusion. There is merit in using social impact measures in conjunction with clinical impact measures. Clinical outcome measures exceed national oral health targets set for 2002 by the Welsh Office. Social impact is weighted differently in different groups within the practice; for the elderly edentulous physical disability is the main burden whereas discomfort is the mainproblem for the younger dentate patients. Regular attenders benefit from regular care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6 - 13
Number of pages7
JournalPrimary Dental Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 1996


  • primary dental care
  • general dental practice
  • oral health status


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