An Oral Health Index (OHX) has been designed to provide a numerical measure of the overall state of a patient's oral health by means of a series of simple clinical examinations. This has been amended to produce the Oral Health Score (OHS). OBJECTIVE: To assess, by means of a questionnaire, the ease of use and understanding of the OHS by general dental practitioners. METHODS: 350 GDPs were asked to participate in the project, of whom 329 agreed. These dentists were given a lecture of 2 hours' duration on the OHS. The participating dentists were requested to use the OHS for a period of 1 year. At the end of this period, a questionnaire was delivered to them by post, with an explanatory letter and reply-paid envelope. RESULTS: Completed, usable questionnaires were received from 239 GDPs, a 77% response rate. Ninety three percent of respondents considered the OHS instructions to be satisfactory. The respondents' views on the criteria on which the OHS component assessments are based indicated that over 90% of respondents agreed with the criteria for caries, adequacy of restorations, periodontal assessment, mucosal assessment and assessment of dentures. A majority of respondents agreed that the OHS provided a valid representation of oral health. CONCLUSION: The results of the present study indicate that the OHS is considered to be an easy-to-use measure of a patient's oral health and that it provides a valid representation of a patient's oral health.