Data Collection & Surveillance

Monitoring the status of oral disease in a state’s population is essential for setting achievable objectives, as well as for planning, implementing, and evaluating public health programs. It is also important for illustrating the burden of oral disease and for gaining support and funding for the state oral health program.

To develop a state oral health surveillance system, oral health programs should assess the currently available assets, such as data sources that already include an oral health component, and other state resources and capacity that can be used to augment those of the oral health program.

A suggested tool is the ASTDD Best Practices Approach Report: State-based Oral Health Surveillance Systemexternal icon, which includes activities for states:

In addition to collection and reporting of BSS, WFRS and ASTDD State Synopsis data, CDC oral health grantees report other data elements from a core set of indicators. These indicators are published in the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologist report, State-Based Oral Health Surveillance Systems—Conceptual Framework and Operational Definition pdf icon[PDF- 845KB]external icon.

Grantee must have a plan for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating data. The plan should include the data sources available, how often it will be collected, and who will collect the data.

Some states may choose to communicate their data through a Burden of Disease document. A Burden of Disease document describes the status of oral diseases (e.g., dental caries, periodontal disease, total tooth loss, oral cancer) in a state, including any disparities in oral disease status among population groups. It may also discuss the ability of a state’s program to meet these needs by including a description of existing state oral health assets, such as professional dental and dental hygiene education programs and intervention programs that focus on oral disease prevention. The Burden of Disease document should be publicly available in a format that the state determines to be appropriate. If a state chooses to develop a Burden of Disease document, it should also develop a dissemination plan to share the findings with state health department leadership, partners, decision makers, and private citizens. If a state chooses not to develop a Burden of Disease document, they should create an alternate way to disseminate current data to interested parties. Some examples of this include data briefs or papers that highlight topics of particular interest to the state and interactive oral health surveillance system websites that house the state’s current oral health data.

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