A team of researchers in Ireland, Europe, have announced the development of a new interactive dashboard, which aims to provide open access to oral health data to clinicians, researchers, and policy makers. This dashboard will be capable of providing valuable data in a concise format, which can aid treatment decisions. The dashboard should have a very positive effect on Ireland’s oral healthcare.

Calgary Students Urge “Yes” Vote to Water Fluoridation Debate - Taradale Dental

In an exciting development, researchers in Ireland have created a new interactive dashboard which will allow open access to the oral health data from a range of previous studies [1].

This dashboard will provide a range of people with access to a large amount of data. Therefore, this can aid treatment decisions, raise potential risk factors, and produce other useful data.

The current situation

Currently, data is just visible to researchers and publications. For most, information that is received comes through summaries and news articles.

But what we don’t see is all of the intricate figures and trends that masses of data can provide. Therefore, it can be hard to draw conclusions on subjects when there is limited information.

Even for those that do have all of the data from a study, it isn’t necessarily easy to make conclusions. Often, data needs to be formatted correctly, with anomalies accounted for – and above all else, time is needed to go through the data. This isn’t something that many people have the time for, which is why it is left to the professionals.

The dashboard

The dashboard has been developed by a team of researchers at Dublin Dental University Hospital, which is part of Trinity College Dublin [1].

An enormous range of research has been undertaken into oral health in the past. This dashboard will merge data from surveys on oral health from the last 20 years in Ireland [1].

As a result of their work, the dashboard will allow easy access to large quantities of data that had previously been unavailable to the likes of clinicians, researchers and policy makers [1].

Moreover, the dashboard will not require any coding or statistical skills, with a focus on it being useful for everyone, including non-technical personnel [1].

What benefits will the dashboard provide?

In terms of the benefits of the dashboard for clinical practice, the insights will provide dentists with a lot of information. For example, they can view results from studies that can highlight the most common time gum disease can develop for a certain demographic – meaning that the dentist can tailor their treatment to their patient.

Variables in research refer to elements within studies that can change, e.g., gender. The dashboard will be capable of comparing similar variables and subsequently provide insights into age or cohort changes, providing consistent results [1].

The dashboard will also have the example of being dynamic and react to newer studies. Therefore, conclusions can be made at any given point.

The dashboard will be able to monitor trends, highlight risk factors and provide support for any decisions that need to be made. Having the backing of data can be a great way of justifying decisions.

Comments from the research team

Lead researcher Michael Crowe, who works at Trinity College Dublin, commented on the development [1]. Crowe emphasized the ease of use, commenting that the dashboard “allows easy access to explore or examine the key trends in this type of oral related health data over time without requiring multiple plots and tables and sharing of extensive documentation [1].

Moreover, Crowe wished to note its usefulness in “communicating research findings”, saying that a “key issue in health sciences research is the lack of training of researchers whose primary field is neither visual design or data analytics” [1].

Crowe summarized by saying dashboards can “be a promising means of sharing and collaborating” that can “contribute to research reproducibility” [1].

Overall, there are clearly a range of positives with this research. The dashboard should be very effective and will hopefully make an active difference to oral health in Ireland. Furthermore, if it proves successful, it is likely that we will see dashboards used in more countries in the future.

Thinking points…

[1] The reason why so much research goes into oral health is its importance to us all. Therefore, we need to ensure that we look after our teeth and gums. Remember to attend a regular check-up, so that your dentist can take a look at your oral health and provide recommendations and advice when necessary. Why not book an appointment now?

[2] This article talks about trends in oral health. One current trend is how gum disease cases are very high. Many people are unaware that they have gum disease. Furthermore, even more people are unaware that gum disease can be treated in a way that aims to minimize discomfort. For example, root planing and scaling are two examples of treatments – you could discuss these with your dentist!

What we offer at Taradale Dental

Taradale Dental is a Calgary dental clinic that provide its patients with a wide range of dental treatment options and advice aimed at improving their oral health.

It is very important to have excellent oral hygiene. This involves brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing regularly and eating healthily. Therefore, this should help your oral health.

We advise our patients to attend our Calgary dental clinic at least twice per year for a regular dental check-up. At these check-ups, we provide a comprehensive review of a patient’s oral health. If any problems are detected, we have many treatments available. For example, these include cavity fillings and root canals.

Here at Taradale Dental, we also have some cosmetic treatments available! These include dental implants, teeth whitening and Invisalign™! Many people find that these treatments have a positive impact on their appearance, confidence and self-esteem.

Moreover, all of our services at our Calgary dental clinic Taradale Dental are set in line with the Alberta Dental Fee Guide. This ensures transparent and fair pricing.

We hope to see you soon at our Taradale Dental clinic in Calgary! You can find out more about us by visiting our website https://taradaledental.ca.


[1] Trinity College Dublin. (2023). New pediatric dental database removes access barriers to information. Available: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2023-05-pediatric-dental-database-access-barriers.html. Last accessed: 27th May 2023.