National Oral Health – Data Sources

Data Source (Research Topics) Variables Method of collection Years available Granularity of the data Comments
American Dental Association (ADA) ·       Dental practices (1990 – 2017)

·       Supply and profile of dentists (2001 – 2017)

·       Dental education (2017)



Primary but merged with numerous external proprietary data -2017 State. Certain point data. Has several ongoing data collection initiatives, including extensive data collection on dentists’ incomes, dentist and patient demographics, location of dentists and dental fees, which can be merged with numerous external proprietary data


Note: ?1990 – to see trend of data. Website has data from 2013.

Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Variables on tooth loss, decay, gum disease, dental visit. Primary, telephone based Started in 1984.

Data available: 1997 – 2016

State Limitation: Not every question is asked in every state, so some indicators may be heavily skewed toward certain states and less representative of the entire region.
National Oral Health Surveillance System (NOHSS) ·       Adult indicators

·       Child indicators (1993 – 2013).

·       Water fluoridation statistics (see WFRS)

·       Synopses of state oral health programs (variables are listed under questionnaire items)


BRFSS is the data source -2016 State…

Certain variables available at county level (e.g.: number of permanent tooth removed)

Synopses of state oral health programs is through the ASTDD (Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors).


It integrates the data from the states with BSS oral health data.


The integrated data is available as CDC’s Oral Health Data source

YRBSS Tobacco use


Primary – school-based survey. -2017 National, state  
Unhealthy dietary behaviors


Primary – school-based survey. -2017 National, state  
Water Fluoridation Reporting System (WFRS)


Monthly fluoride levels Reported by the water sources in the states – 2014 State Strength: Frequency of data increases its usability for time trend-based studies


Limitation: Access restricted to select state officials and dental directors.

Sealant Efficiency Assessment for Locals and States (SEALS) Variables listed in the data collection forms in the site Primary – school based / community based -2017 ?schools SEALS is currently available to awardees of CDC funding opportunity DP1307 and requires special authorization for access.


SEALS capture, save, and export data for local school sealant programs in your state

Pregnancy Risk Assessment and Monitoring System (PRAMS) ·       teeth cleaned by a dentist or dental hygienist

·       A dental or other health care worker talked with me about how to care for my teeth and gums

·       insurance to cover dental care during my pregnancy

·       needed to see a dentist for a problem

·       went to a dentist or dental clinic about a problem

·       Questions on smoking status

Interviewer and self-administrated questionnaire. 2000 – 2011


Selective since 2012

State Selected MCH indicators available for state form 2012 – 2015.
HRSA – Data warehouse Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas (Dentists per 10,000 population) Primary 2017 County  
Head Start – Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Centre, HHS Any dental treatment need among children aged 3-5 years attending Head Start Primary Ongoing State The Office of Head Start Program Information Report (PIR) provides comprehensive data on the services, staff, children, and families served by Head Start and Early Head Start programs including need for dental treatment. PIR data at the grantee and state level is publicly available through a password protected account.


*Head Start is a program of the United States Department of Health and Human Services that provides comprehensive early childhood education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) Primary   County specific variables included A survey of families, individuals, providers and employers that asks questions about the use of health care services, health insurance coverage and costs of services. The household component includes questions on dental services and types of dental providers.


The ones not available open source is confidential and available to researchers.


National Survey of Children’s’ Health ·       Parent reported condition of children’s teeth

·       Oral health problems such as toothaches, bleeding gums or decayed teeth or cavities, age 1-17 years

Secondary 2007 – 2011 State The data is old to the year of 2007 – 2011 from 2011/12 NSCH National Chartbook Profile for Nationwide. But comparative data available in the website.


Several other data methods are available, but with hardly any oral health data.

Centre for Medicaid and Medicare ·       % of Medicaid enrolled children who get oral health services from non-dental providers

·       Percent of states who are reporting Dental Sealants for 6-9-year-old Children Enrolled in Medicaid at Elevated Caries Risk and Percent of states who are reporting Percentage of Medicaid Eligible Who Received Preventive Dental Services to the Child Core Set


Primary -2017 State Annual reports to CMS describing the percentage of children enrolled in Medicaid and are eligible for the Early and Period Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit, who received various health and oral health services during the year
Cancer Registry


·       Incidence of invasive cancer of the oral cavity or pharynx

·       Mortality from invasive cancer of the oral cavity or pharynx


Secondary from SEER & NPCR -2015 county Cancer Registries, state specific incidence rates are available.


CDC has information to contact the state specific cancer registry.


Statistics includes data reported to CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) and the National Center Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program.

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCFR) – NIH Variables under:

·       Craniofacial birth defects

·       Dental caries

·       Dental sealants

·       Facial pain

·       Oral cancer

·       Periodontal disease

·       Tooth loss

·       Treatment needs

·       Water fluoridation


Secondary from various sources. 1999 – 2004 State (most variables), if not USA.  
National Health Interview Survey ·       Various socioeconomic factors

·       Tobacco usage (certain years)

Primary 1997 – 2017 USA / Country Tracks health status, health care access, and progress towards national health objectives. Also asks questions on tobacco use.


National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) ·       Tooth loss in Adults (Ages 20 – 64)

·       Tooth loss in Seniors over 65 years old

·       Periodontal disease in Adults (Age 20 to 64)(Age >65), 2*2 variables – periodontal and severe periodontal

·       Tooth Decay in Children ages 2-11(several variables)

·       Tooth Decay in Adolescents ages 12-19 (several variables)

·       Tooth Decay Statistics for Adults ages 20 – 64, several variables

·       Tooth Decay Statistics for Seniors ages 65 and older, several variables


Primary 1999 – 2018 USA / country Includes both interviews and physical examinations. Asks questions related to oral health and utilization of oral health services, including smoking.
Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment statistics on dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants. Primary 1988 – 2017 USA / Country Contains occupational employment statistics for a variety of professions including dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants. Includes the number of jobs available by industry and profession


Note: Licensed Oral health professionals list (dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants) with their address can be found in the state’s dental board website.  For example, Texas has their list up here in Texas State Board of Dental Examiners site.




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