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The purpose of the survey was to provide information on the current state of adults' teeth and oral health in the four countries of the UK, and to measure changes compared with previous Adult Dental Health Surveys (the 1988 survey is held at the UK Data Archive under SN:2834). Sampled adults (aged 16 years and over) were interviewed, and those with some natural teeth took part in a home dental examination. The specific aims of the survey were: to establish the condition of natural teeth and supporting tissues by dental examination; to investigate dental experiences, attitudes and knowledge, dental care and oral hygiene; to establish the state and use made of dentures worn in conjunction with natural teeth; to identify those who have lost all their natural teeth and investigate their use of dentures; to examine the change over time in dental health, attitudes and behaviour; to monitor the extent to which oral health targets set by government are being met.
Main Topics/Subject Category
Household characteristics; socio-demographic characteristics of respondents; a self-assessment of the presence of natural teeth, fillings and dentures; satisfaction with their teeth and mouth, including appearance and ability to speak, chew and swallow; opinions on the need for dental treatment; past dental experience and care received; patterns of past, present and future dental attendances including the most recent dental visit; attitudes to dental treatment; oral hygiene habits and advice received; patterns and reasons for tooth loss; pattern of denture wearing and attitudes to dentures.
United Kingdom, dental examinations, dental health, dental treatment, dentists, dentures, health services, private sector, teeth
Identifier Variables
Area of Health System
Primary care
Disease Area
Oral health
Data Available
Socio-economic, Demographic
Data collecting organization (s)
Office for National Statistics
Data Type
Survey (cross-sectional)
Coverage (date of field work)
Unit of Analysis
Adults aged 16 years and over living in private households in the United Kingdom in 1998. 6204 (obtained) Adults interviewed; 3187 (obtained) Adults examined; 4110 (obtained) Weighted sample size - interviews; 2598 (obtained) Weighted sample size - examinations
ESDS Access and Preservation, UK Data Archive
Conditions of Access
Free registration access
Morris AJ, Steele J, White DA. The oral cleanliness and periodontal health of UK adults in 1998. Br Dent J 2001; 191(4): 186-92