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Scottish Adult Oral Health Survey


The most recent epidemiological survey of the oral health of Scotland’s adult population was carried out as part of the 1998 UK Adult Dental Health Survey.

The Scottish Adult Oral Health Survey (SAOHS) steering group are piloting an oral health data collection system for General Dental Practice and the Public Dental Service in order to record levels of adult oral health. The group are looking at ways to better utilise routine dental data which is collected within NHS primary care in Scotland.

In 2013 a feasibility study was carried out by SDPBRN to help inform the development of a Scottish survey. Rapid Evaluation Practitioners (REPS) gathered non-identifiable oral health data from patients at either a first visit or recall examination. Results from this feasibility study have been used to inform planning for the SAOHS around:

  • The suitability of the oral health data collected
  • The acceptability of the system to dental staff and patients
  • Additional resources required for GDPs to assess, record and extract the required oral health data.

An alternative approach for gathering epidemiological data as part of a routine dental examination was therefore found to be feasible but requires further piloting and development before being fully implemented.


The overall purpose of the Scottish Adult Oral Health Survey is to record adult oral health across Scotland in order to inform policy, plan services, improve and maintain health and monitor changes over time.

The aim of this pilot project is to conduct a survey of adult oral health across Scotland, within an age defined group, as the first stage in the development of a rolling Scottish Adult Oral Health Survey programme.

The pilot survey will aim to recruit around 400 dentists from across the country who will each be asked to submit oral health data for 20 consecutive patients aged 45 years or older.

Current status

Recruitment is now closed.

Related projects:

Using Scottish Adult Oral Health Survey Data to Support Quality Improvement within Primary Dental Care:

Contact: Scottish Adult Oral Health Survey mailbox:

Partner programmes