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Important Articles Pages



State-Based Oral Health Surveillance Systems (2013)

Ian Kreher

Association of State & Territorial Dental Directors

Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists

The purpose of an oral health surveillance system is to utilize data in order to protect and promote population-wide oral health. Good data collection alone does not make a good surveillance system. Planning, data analysis and interpretation and communication with an ongoing system evaluation are the most important components of a successful oral health surveillance system. The four major activities of surveillance evaluation are 1) deciding which conditions to place under surveillance, 2) assessing the value of difference data sources, 3) measuring the effectiveness and costs of each system and technique, 4) assessing the usefulness of surveillance data for the development of prevention and policy actions. For oral health, a comprehensive data collection system should include information about oral health outcomes, risk factors, access to community-based interventions and the use of the oral health care system.