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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0102-311X

Cad. Saúde Pública vol.28  suppl. Rio de Janeiro  2012

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2012001300001 

EDITORIAL

 

Oral health surveillance in Brazil

 

 

Marco A. PeresI; Samuel Jorge MoysésII

IPrograma de Pós-graduação em Saúde Coletiva, Centro de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brasil. mperes@ccs.ufsc.br
IIPrograma de Pós-graduação em Odontologia, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná, Curitiba, Brasil. s.moyses@pucpr.br

 

 

Observation of the oral health-disease process at the population level is essential for understanding the process and producing more effective oral healthcare policies and actions. To observe, monitor, intervene, and evaluate are central components of oral health surveillance.

This Supplement presents a range of studies highlighting the growth of this theme in Brazil. The articles presented here illustrate the close link between researchers from different regions of Brazil, working in eight Oral Health Surveillance Collaborative Centers with the Ministry of Health, established in dentistry schools and universities, as well as professionals from public health services. The articles also demonstrate the close relationship between oral health and other areas of public health, a striking characteristic of Brazil's Unified National Health System that merits attention in the national and international context.

The current special issue includes a wide range of possibilities for surveillance research and practice. The first article, a critical literature review, discusses evaluative strategies in oral health promotion. Next, a review comments on the recommendations in food guidelines and their implications for Brazilians' oral health, while a third review discusses the evidence for actions that can have a positive impact on epidemiological indicators for oral cancer.

Comprising the section of articles based on original research, one study describes the history of nationwide oral health surveys in Brazil, emphasizing the recently concluded survey, the SBBrasil Project 2010, which incorporates important methodological improvements. Along this same thematic line, another article proposes ways to use national surveys to develop oral health surveillance. Another article focuses on fluoridation of the public water supply, systematizing information on the implementation and expansion of fluoridation in the State of São Paulo, highlighting the longest-lasting public health intervention in oral health in Brazil.

Five articles describe and analyze living and health conditions associated with oral health in official population-based surveys, indicating the possibility of an interface between the fields of oral health and public health: two come from the Telephone Survey Surveillance System for Risk and Protective Factors for Chronic Diseases (VIGITEL 2009); two others are based on the National School Health Survey (PeNSE 2009); and one on the Study on Surveillance of Violence and Accidents (VIVA 2006 and 2007). These articles present a unique approach for Brazil, since they draw on databases from broad surveys under the National Health Surveillance System, launching the production of articles on the theme of oral health in this area.

The Supplement concludes with two articles: one evaluates secondary care provided at specialized centers in the Brazilian public dental care system; the other analyzes the work process among oral health teams in municipalities in the State of Pernambuco according to population size, focusing on the teams' approaches to work in the community.

We hope that reading the articles will encourage professionals in health services and academia to continue developing studies in the area, integrating oral health with problem-based analyses of overall health and living conditions.