The Dentist Magazine.

Oral health challenge reveals dental profession’s knowledge gap

Published: 14/07/2017

The OH! Challenge has indicated knowledge gaps among the dental profession on a number of oral health topics, with an average knowledge score of just 51 per cent.

Launched at this year’s BDA Conference, the OH! Challenge was created to test oral health knowledge and has emphasised some interesting knowledge gaps, including:

• 46 per cent did not know that gingivitis and periodontitis are a continuum of the same inflammatory disease.

• Only 44 per cent knew the updated BPE guidelines for code 3 sextants.

• Just 3 per cent understood that advice to rinse all traces of fluoridated toothpaste after brushing depended upon the patient's oral health needs.


These results will inform a programme of evidence-based articles for the dental team, designed to increase understanding of these all-important issues.

Iain Chapple, professor of periodontology, commented, “As a periodontologist, I was quite alarmed to see that 22 per cent of DHCPs did not know what a BPE code 1 meant. Equally, only 23 per cent of respondents knew that twice-daily brushing for just two minutes was likely to be insufficient for patients with periodontitis. We all benefit from continuing professional development and this is a very practical and relevant way of targeting ongoing education to keep healthcare professionals up to date.”

Dental hygienist, Julie Rosse, also commented, “The results are a gentle reminder that we need to constantly revise and refresh our sources of evidence-based information in our everyday working lives. It is obvious that we might not be using the latest evidence-based information available.”

Please visit to see the results in more detail, to test your own knowledge and to follow the supporting programme of evidence-based content that will be released in instalments over the course of the year.

The OH! Challenge was created by Johnson & Johnson, the makers of Listerine.