Wisdom tooth Other area
Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Oral Health Education Programme (OHEP)

Research has revealed that there are associations between oral health and systemic conditions. It is also established that improvement in oral hygiene significantly reduces the incidence of aspiration pneumonia, which has a high morbidity and mortality rate in the frail elderly population. However, multiple studies across different countries have reported high rates of tooth decay and gum disease in patients in the chronically ill patients.

About the Programme

National Dental Centre Singapore (NDCS) developed the Oral Health Education Programme (OHEP) to improve the oral health of those in long-term care. The programme trains non-dental healthcare professionals in long-term care settings such as nursing homes and stroke units to deliver basic oral healthcare and identify common dental conditions. It has shown promise after a pilot run at Bright Vision Hospital.

Many formal caregivers working in long-term care facilities lack knowledge and skills to look after the oral hygiene of their patients. Training will equip them with the ability to deliver basic oral hygiene and promptly identify dental conditions that require further treatment. This will have a positive impact on patients' overall health and quality of life. The OHEP offers a standardised curriculum and a train-the-trainers approach that allows each institution the autonomy to customise the modules according to their patients' needs. It currently has evolved to be a hybrid model, in partnership with Singhealth Community Hospital Office of Older Adult Learning (SCHOOL), where learners access theory modules online, followed by a hands on course on practical tips on oral caregiving. Future plans include expanding this to informal caregivers (e.g. family members) of persons with special healthcare needs.

Upon completion of the programme, participants will be able to:

  • Recognise oral pathologies and nursing management of these conditions
  • Assess the need for timely dental referrals
  • Perform quality assisted oral hygiene care in patients who require assistance