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Dental survey takes another bite out of the nation

Friday, 9 March 2018

Source: University of Adelaide

Thousands of people across ACT, Queensland and Western Australia will be encouraged to take part in dental interviews and free dental examinations as part of the National Study of Adult Oral Health 2017-18, the first major study of its kind in Australia for more than a decade.

Led by the University of Adelaide, the research will assess the level of oral diseases among Australian adults, and the effectiveness, sustainability and equity of dental service delivery across the country. Members of the community will be selected at random to take part in the study.

In total, 15,000 Australians aged 15 years and over are expected to take part in the study, which is being conducted by the internationally recognised Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health (ARCPOH), in the Adelaide Dental School, University of Adelaide. The study is being carried out in partnership with the Commonwealth Department of Health, and local health departments and dental services.

Researchers have already completed their work in South Australia and Tasmania and have started in Victoria and New South Wales.

"We've been incredibly happy with the support of the community in South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales, with a high participation rate and more than 10,000 people interviewed for the study so far. We expect to see that number spike when participants from ACT, Queensland and Western Australia take part in the study over the coming weeks and months," says chief investigator Professor Marco Peres, Director of ARCPOH and Professor of Population Oral Health at the University of Adelaide.

"It's critical that we understand the changes in dental health among adult Australians, and the quality, prevalence and accessibility of services they receive. We expect that people in ACT, Queensland and Western Australia – in both metropolitan and rural areas – will make a major contribution to the findings of our study.”

The study will inform government policy-makers and dental service providers about the delivery of fair and effective dental services for all Australians over the next decade and beyond.

"Importantly, the results of our study, which are due to be delivered in mid-2019, will positively impact on the dental care people receive in the community, which will also improve their quality of life," says Professor Peres.

For more information, visit the National Study of Adult Oral Health website: www.adelaide.edu.au/arcpoh/national-study

The National Study of Adult Oral Health 2017–2018 is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), in partnership with federal, state and territory health departments and dental services, and with support from the Australian Dental Association, Colgate and Bupa. 

Media Contact:

Professor Marco Peres, Director, Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health (ARCPOH), Adelaide Dental School, The University of Adelaide. Phone: +61(0)8 8313 5438, Mobile: +61 (0)439 919 320. marco.peres@adelaide.edu.au  

Crispin Savage, Media Advisor, The University of Adelaide. Phone: +61 (0)8 8313 7194crispin.savage@adelaide.edu.au