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Adult dental health survey

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  • Release date: 24 March 2011
  • Period covered: 2009
A report, published by the NHS Information Centre, includes data on adults with natural teeth and number of dental appointments.

The 2009 Adult Dental Health Survey (ADHS) summary report and thematic series provides information on the dental health of adults. It explores areas such as oral health and function, complexity of dental treatment and access and barriers to dental care. In addition, three country-specific reports are published alongside the full report.

The 2009 ADHS is the fifth in a series of national dental surveys that have been carried out every ten years since 1968. The survey was carried out in England, Wales and Northern Ireland only: Scotland decided not to participate in the 2009 survey.

Key points

  • The proportion of adults in Wales with no natural teeth decreased from 37 per cent in 1978 to 22 per cent in 1988, 17 per cent in 1998 and 10 per cent in 2009.
  • The proportion for adults aged 75 or over was 42 per cent in 2009, a fall from 82 per cent in 1988.
  • In 2009, a quarter of adults wore removable dentures of some description (partial or complete).
  • Seventy-one per cent of adults said that they cleaned their teeth at least twice a day and a further 25 per cent of adults said that they cleaned their teeth once a day.
  • Fifty-seven per cent of adults in Wales said that they had tried to make an NHS dental appointment in the previous three years.  Of these adults, 91 per cent successfully received and attended an appointment.
  • Twenty-two per cent of adults said that the type of dental treatment they opted to have had been influenced by cost.


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