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Singapore Oral Population Health Initiative (SOPI)


SOPI brings together a multidisciplinary team of scientists, clinicians, economists and social scientists with the goal of achieving optimal oral health for all Singapore residents. SOPI applies scientific approaches in the areas of behavioural, clinical and population-based studies, and health services, educational intervention and policy research to improve oral health and general health nationally, regionally and internationally.

SOPI aims to:

  1. Develop appropriate and sustainable public oral health surveillance systems to inform on public health priorities
  2. Simulate the impact of public health policies in oral health outcomes
  3. Investigate the links between general health and oral health
  4. Examine the impact of dental service provision on health outcomes
  5. Implement and assess the effectiveness of oral health intervention programmes
  6. Investigate and reduce global oral health inequalities


Disease surveillance is a fundamental public health activity and is the foundation for initiatives aimed at promoting the wellbeing of the population. WHO states that countries must develop feasible, appropriate and sustainable public health surveillance systems. WHO has suggested that for effective oral health surveillance, clinical oral health surveys should be conducted regularly every five years. Although many well-designed cohort studies exist in Singapore very few have an oral health component, none among adults. This is of concern given that the investigation of the relationship between oral health and general health is a hot topic not only in the academic but also in the health services environment. The cost effectiveness of potential feasible population-based interventions to reduce the burden of oral diseases of Singaporeans is unknown.

The SOPI research platform aims to close the gap in the epidemiological knowledge of oral health in Singapore. We intend to conduct periodic oral health surveys and regular data collection via a National Dental Telephone Survey to constitute the pillars of a nationwide oral health surveillance system. SOFI also includes hypotheses-driven research by using a multidisciplinary approach.

Key Research Areas

Oral Health Surveillance System ​Simulate Impact of Public Health Policies ​Link between General Health and Oral Health
  • ​National oral health surveys
  • Administrative health service data collection
  • ​Impact of hypothetical policies on oral health
  • Impact of chronic diseases on oral diseases
  • Impact of HPV vaccination on oral cancer
  • ​Oral health registries
  • Prospective cohort studies

Dental Care and Outcomes ​Oral Health Promotion ​Global Oral Health
  • ​Long term dental care trends and health outcomes
  • Patient-reported outcome measures
  • Quality of life measures
  • Cost-effectiveness analysis
  • ​Educational support
  • Environmental support
  • Knowledge dissemination
  • Asian Global Oral Health Research Group

Core Research Platforms

SOFI has two core research platforms to support our key research areas – health services research, and biostatistics and analytics.

Health Services Research
  • ​Implementation science
  • Health technology assessment
  • Economic evaluation of health services
  • Survey validation and patient reported outcomes
​Biostatistics and Analytics
  • ​Database development and management
  • Advanced analytics
  • Predictive modelling

Research & Impact

Oral Health Programme for infants and toddlers to reduce childhood caries 

Tele-dentistry to improve access to dental care 


Prof Marco Peres

Cl A/Prof Poon Choy Yoke

Cl A/Prof Teoh Khim Hean

Cl A/Prof Christina Sim

A/Prof Karen Peres

Dr Bien Lai

Dr Chan Pei Yuan

Dr Li Huihua

Dr Ashish Chetan Kalhan

Ms Jasmine Ho

Ms Shilpa Sarawagi

Ms Joey Tay

Dr Silas Alves Costa (Intern)

Dr Fernando Valentim Bitencourt (Intern)