Oral Health-Related Quality of Life

  • U. Schütte
  • M. Walter
Reference work entry


The increasing life expectancy in developed countries is associated with growth in the incidence of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and  dental caries. These developments have implications for decrements in quality of life related to general health as well as  oral health. Consequently, medical care and social programs are focusing increasingly upon enhancement of patients’ quality of life. Together with the extension of people’s lifespan, the World Health Organization (WHO) ascertained the enhancement of the quality of life as a central goal of health care systems. With respect to oral health, treatment of oral diseases is extremely costly and therefore a significant economic burden for many industrialized countries. Hence, in order to strengthen dental public health programs and set priorities for investment in oral healthcare-related research and treatments, planners have shown growing interest in quantifying the consequences of oral diseases that affect individuals’ functioning, comfort, and ability to perform everyday activities.

The concept of quality of life is multidimensional including health as one dimension. Quality of life is influenced by several personal and social expectations. By definition, measurement of health should cover not only professionals’ views but also patients’ preferences, which reflect their experiences and concerns. In studies of the association between objective measures of dental disease and patient-based ratings of oral health status, objective measures did not accurately indicate patients’ perceptions. Such measures reflect the end-point of a specific disease process but give no indication of the impact of the disease and its course on functioning and psychosocial well-being. Hence, there is a need for the development of appropriate measures to assess quality of life with regard to oral health and oral diseases. Subjective measures provide an important adjunct to objective clinical measures for determining goals in health care and assessing how well the goals have been met.


Oral Health Dental Caries Oral Disease Dental Disease Oral Health Status 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations:


WHO oral health country/area profile program


 community periodontal index of treatment need


dental impact on daily living


dental impact profile


decayed missing filled teeth index


Fédération Dentaire International


geriatric oral health assessment index


health related quality of life


International Association for Dental Research


oral health impact profile


oral health impact profile-additive score (of all item responses)


 oral health related quality of life


oral health related quality of life (United Kingdom)


quality of life


(health survey) short form 36


visual analogue scale


World Health Organization


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© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2010

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  • U. Schütte
  • M. Walter

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