The first version of this prevention toolkit, ‘Delivering Better Oral Health’ was published in 2007 to provide practical evidence-based guidance for promoting oral health and preventing oral disease. The document has updated on a number of occasions since then and this latest update (version 4) replaces the version 3 published in June 2014 (Dental Elf – 16th Jan 2014).
The aim of the resources was to help busy health professionals provide high quality preventive care, which is patient centred and aligns with wider health advice, thus promoting general and oral health.
This guidance is issued jointly by the Department of Health and Social Care, the Welsh Government, the Department of Health Northern Ireland, Public Health England, NHS England and NHS Improvement and with the support of the British Association for the Study of Community Dentistry. Delivering Better Oral Health has been developed with the support of the 4 UK Chief Dental Officers.
The methodological approach used for the development of ‘Delivering Better Oral Health’ has advanced since the first version. The approach taken for this 4th version was outlined in a guideline development manual published in January 2020 and has been informed by contributions from Cochrane Oral Health, NICE-accredited clinical guidance development specialists the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme. Consequently, it adopts the GRADE (Grading of Recommendation Assessment, Development and Evaluation) system of assessing the certainty of evidence and follows as closely as possible AGREE II principles
- Summary guidance tables for dental teams
- Behaviour change
- Dental caries
- Periodontal diseases
- Oral cancer
- Tooth wear
- Oral hygiene
- Healthier eating
- Smoking and tobacco use
- Evidence base for recommendations in the summary guidance tables
The recently published 4th version of the prevention toolkit ‘Delivering Better Oral Health’ had been developed using the most robust methodology to date with the involvement of an extensive multi-disciplinary group (Acknowledgements section) . The prevention toolkit presents an extensive body of work derived using an evidence-based approach. However as to be expected in this type of broad document the evidence supporting some of the recommendations is stronger than others. Eleven background chapters are included as well as one summarising the guidance and another detailing the evidence-base for the recommendations. I suspect that the summary guidance tables will be the most frequently viewed.
The GUIDE process was used to develop the document with the evidence being interrupted with the situation in the UK in mind. Having developed the guidance, the challenge remains its dissemination and implementation. It is likely this will require educational input as well as additional implementation tools to support the current online format.
Dental Elf – 16th Jan 2014