Report of the National Advisory Council on Dental Health

What is Oral Health?

The National Advisory Council on Dental Health (the Council) was established as a time-limited group to provide strategic, independent advice on dental health issues, as requested by Minister for Health and Ageing, to the Government. The Council’s priority task was to provide advice on dental policy options and priorities for consideration in the 2012-13 Budget.

Page last updated: 03 September 2012

      In formulating our proposals, we considered the current state of oral health in the Australian population. Good oral health can be characterised by adequate dentition and the absence of untreated tooth decay or periodontal disease and a number of other less prevalent oral diseases and disorders. The impact of poor oral health is varied,1 but as outlined in Australia’s National Oral Health Plan 2004–2013, oral health “is fundamental to overall health, wellbeing and quality of life. A healthy mouth enables people to eat, speak and socialise without pain, discomfort or embarrassment”.2 It is for these reasons that strengthening oral health promotion and improving access to dental care in Australia is so important.

      1 Sanders, A.E., Slade, G.D., Lim, S. and Reisine, S.T. (2009), ‘Impact of oral disease on quality of life in the US and Australian populations’, Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, Vol. 37, pp.171–181.
      2 Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives: Australia’s National Oral Health Plan 2004–13 (2004), Prepared by the National Advisory Committee on Oral Health.