The self-care plan will tell you the condition of your teeth and gum health and will also record any dental issues you discussed with your dentist during your appointment.
Oral Health Assessment
What is an Oral Health Assessment?
You will be given some short forms to fill in asking questions about your health, your lifestyle and your teeth. Your answers will be recorded on the computer system at your dental practice. Your dentist will then use this information together with an examination of your mouth to form his expert opinion, of the most appropriate self-care plan for you. The kinds of questions you will be asked include:
Your contact details – this is so that your dentist can get in touch with you if he or she needs to.
Your medical history – the health of your mouth is a part of your general health. If you have any medical conditions it is important information for your dentist to know as it may affect the kind of treatment you can be given. Are you on any medication and if so, what?
Do you have any allergies? For example are you allergic to penicillin or latex gloves? The dentist can then ensure he or she does not prescribe any medication that will be harmful or irritate you.
Your dental history –At the appointment our dentist will need to review the health of your mouth now and what treatment you have been given in the past in order to plan your care appropriately . He or she will talk to you about this, examine your mouth and gums and advise you how likely you are to have dental problems in the future. They will then recommend any treatment they consider necessary, and ways you can improve your oral health to prevent problems occurring.
Why does my dentist need this information?
This information will help your dentist plan the best way to provide the care you need.
Will my appointment take longer than usual?
You might need a longer first appointment because the Oral Health Assessment is a more detailed review of your dental health than has been done previously. The receptionist can tell you how long your first appointment might be.
What is my self-care plan?
As well as giving you information about how healthy your mouth is now, your self-care plan will also give useful hints and tips on ways to improve your oral health and keep your teeth and gums healthy in the future.
What happens after my Oral Health Assessment?
Your dentist will talk you through your self-care plan and give you a copy to take away. The plan will advise you what treatment, if any, your dentist recommends as well as things you can do at home to help keep your mouth as healthy as possible, for example:
- Eat less sugar
- Improve brushing and floss your teeth
- Use fluoride toothpaste
What happens if I need treatment?
You will also get a treatment plan. This goes into more detail about the treatment you will need, the options you have and the cost. The NHS can provide all the treatment that your dentist thinks you need to keep your mouth healthy.
Any private treatment you may choose to have will be shown on your treatment plan in a different section.
Each time you come back to see the dentist, your self-care plan will be updated with your progress. Your dentist will ask you to sign your treatment plan which you should keep in a safe place,
When should I book my next appointment?
Your dentist will advise you of the most appropriate time for your next appointment. This will depend on how healthy your mouth is. If your oral health is good you may not need to come back for some time. However if you need to work on improving your oral health you will be advised to come back sooner so that your progress can be monitored and you can be given more help and advice if needed.
If you are advised to come back between Oral Health Assessments, your next appointment may be with a different member of the dental team for example, a nurse, hygienist or dental therapist depending on the treatment or interim care you require.
This type of appointment is called an “interim care appointment”. At each interim care appointment your self-care plan will be reviewed and you will be advised of the progress you are making towards improving your oral health and any further action you may need to take.
Will the NHS patient charges be the same?
The NHS charges that apply to assessment and treatments are the same for all NHS Dental practices and patients.
We are very grateful to you for taking part in the pilot programme to help make the NHS dental services a better experience for everyone. Thank you for your patience and co-operation .