A Guide for Developing and Enhancing Community Oral Health Programs  
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Step 2. Assess Needs and Resources

B. Conduct the Assessment

2. Gather Data About Needs

Data about oral health needs are available from a variety of sources. Other data sources include the following:

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). BRFSS provides state-specific information on personal health behaviors related to several leading causes of death. One module is devoted to oral health. A BRFSS telephone questionnaire includes a core set of questions used by all states and an additional set sponsored by each state that may be derived from optional modules developed by CDC or other appropriate sources.

Child Trends DataBank. The DataBank provides information about trends in unmet oral health needs along with information about variations in unmet needs by race, ethnicity, health insurance coverage, income, and age.

Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Data Resource Center (DRC). DRC serves as a resource on dental, oral, and craniofacial data for the research community, clinical practitioners, public health planners, policymakers, advocates, and the general public. The center is sponsored by NIDCR and CDC’s division of oral health.

National Surveillance Data. National surveillance for dental caries, dental sealants, tooth retention, edentulism, and enamel fluorosis: United States, 1988–1994 and 1999–2002 is available in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summaries, August 26, 2005 54(3):1–44. These data are stratified by age and racial/ethnic groupings and may provide insight into the oral health status and services obtained by similar population groups in a given community.

National Oral Health Surveillance System (NOHSS). NOHSS is designed to help public health programs monitor the burden of oral disease, use of the oral health care delivery system, and status of community water fluoridation on both a national and a state level. NOHSS includes indicators of oral health, information on state oral health programs, and links to other important sources of oral health information. The project is a collaborative effort between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Division of Oral Health and ASTDD.

Oral Health Data Systems, Oral Health Maps. Oral Health Maps is an interactive mapping application that presents indicators of oral health and preventive interventions for oral health for states and some counties. State/county maps showing indicators for water fluoridation, state-level indicators for untreated tooth decay, indicators for tooth decay experience, and indicators for dental sealants are available. This project is a collaborative effort among CDC, ASTDD, and participating states.

Health Policies. Current policies, laws, regulations, and ordinances include Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) policies, as well as regulations that affect school-based and school-linked programs. Learning how state and county/city legislative bodies view health and oral health and about legislative committees focused on these issues provides an opportunity to understand their perceptions of oral health needs. State oral health programs, dental societies, or community oral health coalition members can help access this information.

Dental Sealants. A resource for information about dental sealants is Seal America: The Prevention Invention.

Primary Data. Primary data can be collected through key informant interviews, focus groups, surveys, or community forums. Local data are often the most compelling to local policymakers and funding sources. Dental schools, state public health agencies, LPHAs, public health associations, primary care associations, or others may be able to assist with the design of data collection instruments and the collection of data. The Basic Screening Survey Planning Guide is a step-by-step guide for conducting the Basic Screening Survey.

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Table of Contents Appendices AACDP References Home Appendices References Conclusion Step 6 Step 5 Step 4 Step 3 Step 2 Executive Summary Overview Step 1 Acknowledgements