An evaluation of the role played by community pharmacies in oral healthcare situated in a primary care trust in the north of England

Br Dent J. 2005 Aug 27;199(4):219-23, discussion 211. doi: 10.1038/sj.bdj.4812614.


Objectives: To determine the existing state of oral healthcare advice, products and information provided by community pharmacies in Durham Dales Primary Care Trust area, and determine their potential role in the provision of oral healthcare services.

Methods: A semi-structured questionnaire was devised to examine the current role of community pharmacies in oral healthcare. An interview was arranged with each of the pharmacies.

Results: Ninety per cent of pharmacies participated from the Trust area. Common presenting complaints were ulcers and toothache/pain relief. Pharmacists advised customers to see a dentist in 94.1% of cases, 23.5% to see a doctor, 41.2% gave oral hygiene advice and 100% gave short-term pain relief. Pharmacists were keen to improve oral health knowledge. Most were aware of the nearest dental practices but few knew arrangements for emergencies/appointments. There were 14 pharmacists wanting active roles in promotional activities and national campaigns. Issues raised were lack of known key contacts for referrals/advice and lack of support on integration into primary healthcare teams.

Conclusion: Through new pharmacy contracts and support/education, pharmacists could perform an increased role in oral healthcare provision.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Community Pharmacy Services*
  • England
  • Health Education, Dental*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Pharmacists*
  • Professional Role
  • Surveys and Questionnaires