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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Assessment of oral health related quality of life

P Finbarr Allen

Author Affiliations

Department of Restorative Dentistry, University Dental School & Hospital, Wilton, Cork, Ireland

Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 2003, 1:40  doi:10.1186/1477-7525-1-40

Published: 8 September 2003


In Dentistry, as in other branches of Medicine, it has been recognised that objective measures of disease provide little insight into the impact of oral disorders on daily living and quality of life. A significant body of development work has been undertaken to provide health status measures for use as outcome measures in dentistry. In descriptive population studies, poor oral health related quality of life is associated with tooth loss. There is a less extensive literature of longitudinal clinical trials, and measurement of change and interpretation of change scores continues to pose a challenge. This paper reviews the literature regarding the development and use of these oral health related QoL measures and includes an appraisal of future research needs in this area.