Oral Health Program Data and Surveillance - Minnesota Department of Health
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Dental/Oral Health Data


Monitoring the status of oral disease in Minnesota’s population is essential for setting achievable objectives, as well as for planning, implementing, and evaluating public health programs.

Minnesota Dental/Oral Health Data

Explore dental/oral health data:

A new state-of-the-art, one-stop source for oral health data is available for public use on the Minnesota Public Health Data Access portal. This new addition to the portal significantly improves access to critical data affecting the dental/oral health of Minnesotans and connects dental/oral health with other chronic disease indicators (such as birth defects, cancer and smoking) and determinants of health (such as income, poverty, and insurance).  Policymakers, state and local government, dental/oral health providers, community and professional organizations, researchers and grant writers will find this new resource to be beneficial to their work.

Unique features of this site include interactive queries and downloadable state and county data, background information on the data, dynamic charts, maps, and application of best practices in state-based oral health surveillance, web accessibility, health literacy and numeracy.

The project represents an ongoing collaborative project between the Minnesota Department of Health’s Oral Health Program and the oral health community, including funding agency and partner, Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation, Minnesota Dental Association, Minnesota Oral Health Coalition, Minnesota Department of Human Services, MDH Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, MDH Safe Drinking Water Section, MDH Center for Health Statistics, MDH Health Economics Program and MDH Division of Community and Family Health.

Basic Screening Survey (BSS)

The MDH Oral Health Program conducts a statewide Basic Screening Survey to assess the oral health status of third grade students in a sample of Minnesota public schools. The screening is conducted by trained MDH personnel using a validated, nationally recognized open-mouth survey tool developed by the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors.
The survey observes the presence of dental caries, fillings and significant caries-related infection that requires immediate care. These data are used to assess and monitor the oral health status of Minnesota third graders to guide future health planning and allocation of funding.

This statewide survey is done once every five years to fulfill the National Oral Health Surveillance System (NOHSS) guidelines. The most recent results for Minnesota and other states from 2010 are available online via the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/nohss/.

Report: The Status of Oral Health in Minnesota 

The Minnesota Department of Health’s Oral Health Program shares information about the burden of dental diseases and oral conditions in Minnesota with policymakers, national, state and local public health agencies, community organizations and all others with an interest in dental/oral health.

The Status of Oral Health in Minnesota report describes the status of dental diseases and oral health conditions (such as tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss) in the state. This report includes information related to disparities in the status of dental diseases and oral conditions among population groups. It also discusses the ability of Minnesota’s programs to meet the dental/oral health needs of the community by including a description of existing state assets.  Such assets include professional dental and dental hygiene education programs and intervention programs that focus on preventing dental diseases and oral conditions.
The Status of Oral Health in Minnesota 2013 (PDF: 1589KB/48 pages)

Healthy People 2020 Goals

Every ten years the Department of Health and Human Services develops science-based national goals and objectives across various health topics.  The federal agency also establishes benchmarks for leading health indicators within each topic and monitors progress over time in order to:

  • Identify national health improvement priorities.
  • Increase public awareness and understanding of the determinants of health, disease, and disability and the opportunities for progress.
  • Engage multiple sectors to take actions to strengthen policies and improve practices that are driven by the best available evidence and knowledge.
  • Identify critical research, evaluation, and data collection needs.
  • Provide consistent, measurable objectives and goals that are applicable at the national, state and local levels.

The main oral health goals from the Healthy People 2020 report are to prevent and control oral and craniofacial diseases, conditions, and injuries and improve access to preventive services and dental care. 
The MDH Oral Health Program tracks Healthy People 2020 objectives through the Minnesota Oral Health Statistics System and collects critical data on children’s untreated and treated tooth decay (caries experience) and dental sealants with the Basic Screening Survey.


Updated Thursday, April 09, 2015 at 09:34AM