This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)

Between January 15, 2018 and June 30, 2018, the Orange County Local Oral Health Program conducted a comprehensive oral health needs assessment.  This included analysis of secondary data, and the collection and analysis of primary data.  Primary data included both quantitative data and qualitative data in the form of key-informant interviews and focus groups.

The needs assessment focused on these key areas:

  • Prevalence of Dental Disease in Children – Tooth decay is preventable, yet nationally, it is the most common chronic condition affecting children 6-11 years of age.
  • Utilization of Dental Services by Children – Utilization of dental services is an important indicator of access to dental care and timely receipt of age-appropriate services. 
  • Oral Health Status of Pregnant Women – Pregnancy is characterized by unique and complex physiological changes, which may also adversely affect oral health.
  • Utilization of Dental Services by Adults – Dental disease can affect individuals across the life span. Early prevention coupled with ongoing care and maintenance through adulthood is necessary.
  • Older adults and individuals with special health care needs – Older adults have unique oral health care needs and face a myriad of barriers in accessing care and maintaining good oral health. Individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities and special health care needs are at an elevated risk of tooth decay, gum disease and associated exacerbation of existing health issues.
  • Dental workforce capacity and the oral health care system – Healthcare providers are an integral component of the public health system and assuring competent public and personal health care workforce is an ‘Essential Public Health Service’.

The OC Oral Health Strategic Plan and Comprehensive Oral Health Needs Assessment are in the final stages of review in preparation for publication.  Please check back periodically for updates.

In the meantime, to access a variety of Orange County data and community indicators, please visit OC Healthier Together, our online data dashboard.