This research report provides information on the oral health of adult public dental patients during 2001–02. Persons eligible for public dental care generally are holders of government health cards, such as the unemployed and aged pensioners. These cardholders are a financially disadvantaged group of adults within the Australian population. There may also be variation within this group. In this report data are used to assess the oral health status of migrant public patients compared to other public dental patients.

This report describes the oral health of public dental patients by place of birth and language spoken at home, based on a total of 5,243 dental patients who were examined by the dental authorities in six states/territories of Australia, providing a representative sample of the public dental patients they treated during the 2001–02 period.