AIM: To compare the outcomes of a contemporary oral health status (OHS) scoring system with national oral health data from the 2009 Adult Dental Health Survey, and to explore the utility of the OHS in audit and service development.
METHODS: An OHS scoring system was developed as part of a previously reported comprehensive on-line patient assessment tool. The assessment tool also measured future disease risk and indicative capitation fee grading. The modified OHS score component was developed over 20 years of research and experience from the original Oral Health Index (Burke and Wilson 1995). The online tool was piloted by 25 volunteer dentists on 640 recall patients and qualitative and quantitative feedback provided. Anonymised data from the inputs and scores generated were collected centrally and analysed using descriptive statistics.
RESULTS: The modified OHS was reported to have good validity by the pilot group. Submitted data confirmed a mean age for the recall patients examined as 53 ± 15.8 years and an average oral health status score of 79.5 ± 10.8 where a score of 100 equates to perfect oral health. A breakdown of the scores into the eight principal components provided evidence of cross validation with the Adult Dental Health Survey (2009).
CONCLUSIONS: Scoring oral health status electronically offers valuable opportunities for clinical audit. The reported benchmark oral health score of 79.5 for recall patients can be updated as increased numbers of patients enter the centralised data recording system. Audit can be facilitated by this move from a paper-based system to an on-line tool with central data collection.