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Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz. 2011 Sep;54(9):1027-34. doi: 10.1007/s00103-011-1333-y.

[Dental health in the United Kingdom and influencing variables].

[Article in German]

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School of Oral and Dental Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.



To review four key topics pertaining to the oral health of the United Kingdom (UK): (1) provision of state-funded dentistry, (2) trends in oral health, (3) dental caries prevention, and (4) determinants of dental health.


Data were abstracted, mainly from peer-reviewed publications in the literature. Information was updated where appropriate.


Since the 1948 inception of the National Health Service (NHS) and its General Dental Service (GDS), the system of providing dentistry has evolved in response to changing fiscal and health circumstances. Since the 1970s, the oral health of the population, both children's dental decay experience and the decline adult tooth loss, has improved steadily and substantially. Approaches towards prevention are discussed and the dominant position of water fluoridation highlighted. The determinants of dental health are analysed.


Dental caries experience of children in the UK and the rest of Europe is highly correlated with national wealth as are two other significant determinants: fluoride toothpaste and sugar consumption. The activity of dental professionals appears to have only a limited influence on levels of oral health. There is reason to believe that UK water fluoridation coverage may broaden.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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