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A longitudinal study of the dental care of adults in the general dental service in Scotland: the first 6 years, 1988-1994

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-9; discussion 78
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 1998

King's Authors


OBJECTIVE: To provide an overview of routine dental care for adults attending the general dental service in Scotland, in a more detailed manner than is currently possible from national data sets.

DESIGN AND SETTING: Cohort study in the general dental service.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: The cohort consisted of 992 Scottish dentate adults who participated in the adult dental health survey of 1988, conducted by the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys. Details of subsequent treatment undertaken in the general dental service were provided by Dental Practice Division, Edinburgh.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Production of patient-specific and tooth-specific data on dental attendance and treatment.

RESULTS: 71% of the cohort attended at least once in the 6 years. Registration levels, following the introduction of the continuing care contract, reached 42-44%. Observed lapses in registration illustrate the changing membership of the relatively static level of registration year-on-year. Vulnerability to treatment of different tooth sites is illustrated graphically.

CONCLUSIONS: Cohort studies provide valuable information on patterns of attendance and treatment needed for planning of dental health services. Growing computer power and increasing demands for management data may mean that future work of this nature can be more appropriately undertaken at the population level.

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