Adult Oral Health Survey 2023

The Department of Health and Social Care uses the study to monitor oral health and shape dental services in England.

The Adult Oral Health Survey is the main source of information on the health of people’s teeth and mouths, and their experiences of dental health services. The survey series began in 1968 and has been carried out every ten years since. The Department of Health and Social Care uses the study to monitor oral health and shape dental services in England.

Why take part?

The survey provides high quality information on the oral health of the adult population in England. Information collected is used to monitor the health of adults’ teeth and mouths and will help the NHS to plan local dental services. Results from the latest survey will also be compared with those from previous surveys allowing changes in oral health over time to be understood. The survey is the main source of information for the NHS on how adult oral health and how adults’ use of dental services is changing.

A token of our appreciation

As a thank you for taking part, you will receive a £20 gift card

A little time makes a big difference

We know your time is precious, but we hope you can spare time for the interview. The survey really does make a difference and will help government to understand the picture of oral health and access to dental care in England. This will be used to shape policy.  

The interview will be conducted by a specially trained National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) interviewer and dental examiner at a time that is convenient for you. The interviewer will call at your address to ask some basic questions and arrange a convenient time slot to return with the examiner.

Why have I been chosen?

Why you’re so important to us

We have chosen your address at random from AddressBase which is a database containing Royal Mail residential addresses. This is to make sure that the survey represents the whole country, and we get a true picture of everyone’s views. Your address can’t be replaced by another one.

At each address, we will invite up to two adults (aged 16 years or older) to take part in the survey.

We want to hear from everyone

It’s important that our research represents everyone living in England.  It doesn’t matter what kind of dental health care service you use, how often you visit a dentist, how many teeth you have or the condition of your teeth – it is important that we interview a wide range of people to fully understand oral health in England.

What’s involved?

Interviewer visit

If you have recently received a letter asking you to take part, one of our interviewers will visit you in the next week or so.

So you know who they are, all our interviewers carry photo ID with our logo on it. We understand that you may be busy, so we’ll organise the interview at a time that suits you.

The interview

Your interviewer will ask you about a range of questions related to topics on oral health and behaviours, and attitudes to dental services.

The dental examination

The interview will be followed by a short dental examination by a qualified examiner. The examination involves examining and recording the condition of your teeth and gums. The examiner will not take any x-rays or carry out any treatment. The examination will take about 30 minutes.

No need to prepare

There’s no need to prepare for the interview or the examination in any way. You don’t need any special knowledge.

Finding an NHS dentist

The NHS website contains information relating to NHS dental services including finding a dentist near you and how to access support in an emergency.

Who are the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen)?

50 years’ experience

NatCen have been carrying out high quality social research for over 50 years. We are a non-profit organisation, independent of all government departments and political parties.

Uncovering real opinions

We are commissioned by government and charities to uncover the real views of people in Britain today. What we find out is used to inform policy and make a difference to the lives of people across the nation.

Helping the nation

We are a charity and information from surveys we carry out is made publicly available. So it’s not just helping our clients, it’s used by other organisations trying to improve life in the UK.

Working in partnership

NatCen is working in partnership with the following organisations on the Adult Oral Health Survey.

They are:

University of Birmingham

Kings College London

University College London

Newcastle University