Measured as - Decayed, Missing and Filled Teeth (DMFT) and/or (S)Surfaces - a 2012-14 survey determined that dental caries (tooth decay) began to increase for children in 1999 and has fluctuating up and down since 2006. We have had no regular collection of DMFT data since 2010 or any "whole of population" data at all. It is vital for the dental health of our population to have available DMFT data not just for children but for all age groups.
The lack of adequate oral health data for all age groups and real time access, results in poor oral health policy and tooth care advice resulting in the need to spend more on treatment. In 2013-14, there were 63,910 preventable hospitalisations of children under the age of 9 for dental treatment and in 2014/15 the cost to the Child Dental Benefits Scheme was $20.5 million for tooth extractions and $96.1 million for fillings. What has it cost you? Whole of population data is needed and only available in dental records of each patient but not in a standardised format needed to populate a national database, which has prompted the pilot dental planner project that compares postcode, state and national data for all age groups. Everyone can try it here. Dentists please help get a Standard System.
SuperToothNDK Inc has responded to the Australia's National Oral Health Plan 2015–2024 [Foundation Area 6 - Research and evaluation] with the development of a nationally available database - accessable via a simple web based interface - and freely available to anyone with an internet connection.
We envisage the system as a good fit within the My Health Record space but believe there are any number of appropriate servers where the site could be hosted. The system keeps a snap shot and history of a patients dental status as of their most recent dental appointment. (This implies that the system is maintained by dentists). It should be noted that as the system is available via the web it will "follow a patient" should that patient move to a different local.
While ensuring the privacy or all citizens, It can be seen that as data is built within the system, analysis of the dental health of all Australians becomes a simple reporting task.