Dental health care

Updated: 15 June 2023

Modified: 29 Jun 2023, 08:00:00

Next update: 17 June 2024

Share of 18-year-olds with no caries
Share of 18-year-olds with no caries
Dental health services. Main figures
Dental health services. Main figures
2022Percentage change
2021 - 2022
Dental health status
12-year-olds, per cent without any caries experience (per cent)61.3-2.5
18-year-olds, per cent without any caries experience (per cent)32.31.3
SIC-index for 12-year-olds (average of examined/treated)2.293.2
Settled dentist man-years (public and private) (absolute figures)4 403.21.5
Settled dental hygienist man-years (public and private) (absolute figures)1 110.23.6
Dental specialists (public and private) (absolute figures)576.41.5
Prioritised persons examined/treated (absolute figures)797 7290.3
Children and youth 3-18 years old, examined/treated (absolute figures)657 855-0.9
Elderly, long term ill or disabled in home nursing, examined/treated (absolute figures)30 0471.9
Elderly, long term ill or disabled in institution, examined/treated (absolute figures)29 1596.6
Paying adult clients, examined/treated (absolute figures)147 403-7.3
Gross operating expenditures, dental health care (NOK 1 000)3 949 8324.2
Gross operating expenditures, treatments of patients (NOK 1 000)2 998 4244.1
Gross operating expenditures, joint functions (NOK 1 000)951 4084.6
Explanation of symbols

About the statistics

The statistics provide information about the extent of patient care in public dental health services, dental health information about children, young people, and other prioritized groups, as well as expenditures in the public dental health service. Additionally, the statistics include data on full-time equivalents (FTEs) in both public and private dental health services.

The county municipalities are responsible for the public dental health service and must ensure that dental health services are available to residents of the counties, either through the county municipality's own employees or through private practicing dentists who have an agreement with the county municipality.

Prioritized groups: Prioritized groups are persons who belong to one of the groups entitled to free dental health services according to the Dental Health Services Act.

  • Group A consists of children and youth between 1 and 18 years old.
  • Group B consists of all persons over 18 years old with mental developmental disabilities who do not live in institutions or receive home care.
  • Group C1 consists of the elderly, long-term sick, and disabled persons living in institutions. This also applies to persons over 18 years old with mental developmental disabilities living in institutions. The elderly, long-term sick, or disabled persons must have been in the institution continuously for 3 months or more.
  • Group C2 consists of the elderly, long-term sick, and disabled persons receiving home care. This also applies to persons over 18 years old with mental developmental disabilities receiving home care.
  • Group D consists of all young people aged 19-20, except those with mental developmental disabilities.
  • Group E consists of other groups that the county municipality has decided to prioritize. Examples of this are inmates in prison and persons within the field of substance abuse treatment.
  • Group F consists of the rest of the adult population (not belonging to groups A-E), who pay for examinations and treatments in the public dental health service.

"Under supervision" in the public dental health care: The term "under supervision" in the public dental health service refers to patients who belong to one of the prioritized groups and are under the care of the public dental health service. Being "under supervision" means that persons have either undergone dental health examination by a dentist or dental hygienist, received dental treatment, received training in preventive measures, or have been offered follow-up. Different recall intervals result in not all persons who are "under supervision" actually being examined/treated in the reporting year.

dmft/DMFT (caries prevalence): DMFT (Decayed, Missing, Filled Teeth) is a measure of the sum of the number of teeth that have or have had a need for treatment and have been lost due to disease. D refers to the number of decayed teeth, which means the number of teeth that require reparative treatment at the time of examination due to caries. M refers to the number of missing (extracted) teeth due to disease, while F refers to the number of teeth that have been previously treated due to caries, often referred to as the number of teeth with caries experience. DMFT (big letters) refers to permanent teeth, while dmft (small letters) refers to deciduous teeth.

Institution: The term "institution" refers to hospitals, nursing homes, retirement homes, and similar facilities that have their budget and accounts approved by a public authority, receive operational subsidies from a public authority, or are included in a municipal or county municipal health and social plan. Psychiatric departments at hospitals, psychiatric nursing homes, and district psychiatric centers fall under this category. However, this does not include "care homes" or other residences used by municipalities for care and support purposes.

Full-time Equivalent (FTE): FTE = position percentage / 100, so, for example, a 50 percent position is considered half an FTE. Only agreed-upon working hours should be recorded. Overtime should not be included. This means that only agreed-upon hours, not actual hours worked, are recorded.

Employment: Employed persons are defined as persons who performed income-generating work for at least one hour of duration, as well as persons who have such work but are temporarily absent due to illness, vacation, paid leave, or similar reasons. Employment can be either as an employee or as a self-employed person. For self-employed persons, the registry basis is determined by the number of self-employed persons in Statistics Norway's labor force surveys, while which persons these are is partially determined based on whether they have employees with an active employment relationship and partially based on income data from the previous year.

Register-based employment statistics: The data source for register-based employment statistics is derived from information provided by the A-ordning. The A-ordning is a coordinated reporting system for wage and employment information to the Norwegian Tax Administration, the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV), and Statistics Norway (Statistisk sentralbyrå or SSB), regulated by the A-opplysningsloven (A-Reporting Act). Read more about this under "Data Sources" and "Data Collection". Statistics regarding dental health personnel in both the public and private dental health services are obtained from SSB's register-based employment statistics. Full-time equivalent (FTE) figures at the municipality or county level do not account for potential cross-municipal or cross-county purchases and sales. It also does not account for inter-municipal or inter-county collaborations. In cases where multiple municipalities or counties engage in inter-municipal or inter-county collaborations involving different personnel, the FTE figures will only be registered under the hosting municipality or county. For more information on register-based employment statistics, refer to the statistics for health and social personnel.

The number of municipalities and counties has changed over time. As of 2020, there are 357 municipalities and 11 counties. The most recent updated municipal and county divisions are from 2020:

Here you will find current and older municipal divisions.

Here you will find current and older county divisions.

Name: Dental health care
Topic: Health

17 June 2024

Division for Health, care and social statistics

The statistics are presented on county level

Unrevised figures are published 15 th of March each year.

Preliminary figures are published 15 th of June each year.

Final figures are published as soon as the figures on municipal health and care statistics are final.

Not relevant.

Collected and revised data are stored securely by Statistics Norway in compliance with applicable legislation on data processing.

Statistics Norway can grant access to the source data (de-identified or anonymised microdata) on which the statistics are based, for researchers and public authorities for the purposes of preparing statistical results and analyses. Access can be granted upon application and subject to conditions. Refer to the details about this at Access to data from Statistics Norway.

Since the beginning of the 1970s, the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision has been responsible for collecting data on dental health services. Starting from the statistical year 2001, Statistics Norway (Statistisk sentralbyrå, SSB) has collected data on public dental health services in the country. Reporting is done through county dental offices and is part of KOSTRA (Municipality-State Reporting). The statistics include information about the scope, dental health results, personnel, full-time equivalents, and economic data in the public dental health services. Additionally, the statistics include information about personnel and full-time equivalents in private dental health services.

The statistics provide management information about public dental health services for use by organizations and researchers, media, and the general public. Furthermore, municipalities, county municipalities, and state governing bodies such as the Ministry of Health and Care Services, the Directorate of Health, and the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision are important users of the statistics. The Norwegian Board of Health Supervision is required by law to exercise overarching professional supervision of dental health services and dental health in the country and uses the statistics for this purpose.

No external users have access to statistics before they are released at 8 a.m. on after at least three months’ advance notice in the release calendar. This is one of the most important principles in Statistics Norway for ensuring the equal treatment of users.

The statistics can, among other things, be seen in relation to several other KOSTRA areas, particularly statistics for municipal health services, care services, and specialist health services.

Statistics Norway publishes register-based employment statistics for all health and social personnel. Information about personnel in public and private dental health is based on the same data source as the register-based employment statistics, the a-ordning.

For summary data (KOSTRA form): The information is collected by the Ministry of Health and Care Services based on the Act on Dental Health Services of 1 January 1984 § 6-2 (

Statistics Norway also uses the information to produce official statistics in accordance with the Statistics Act (Act of 21 June 2019 No. 32) § 10.

The register-based personnel statistics are based on the Statistics Act § 10, cf. the Act on Employers' Reporting of Employment and Income Relations, etc. (the a-information Act) § 3.


The statistics are primarily based on reporting on public dental health services in all county municipalities in Norway. Data is collected from all counties about the extent of public dental health services, dental health data for children and young people, personnel, and economic data. In addition, an overview is presented of persons who have received dental health reimbursements from the National Insurance Scheme for specific diseases and disorders (entry point), both in private and public dental health services combined. These figures are collected via the KUHR database (Control and Payment of Health Reimbursements). Personnel information from private dental health services is also available.

Statistics on dental health services are based on the following data sources:

• Annual submission of an electronic questionnaire (KOSTRA form 43 Dental Health Services) from all county municipalities via KOSTRA (Municipality-State Reporting).

• Annual submission of accounting data from municipalities via KOSTRA.

• SSB's register-based employment statistics.

• The Municipal Patient and User Register (KPR) is the data source for the total number of people in priority groups C1 and C2. The register is owned by the Directorate of Health.

• The KUHR database (Control and Payment of Health Reimbursements) is the data source for statistics on persons who have received dental health reimbursements from the National Insurance Scheme for specific diseases and disorders. The database is owned by the Directorate of Health.

• SSB's population statistics are also used as a basis for several indicators in the statistics.

Data Collection

Data on public dental health services is collected via the KOSTRA form 43.

The total number of children and youth aged 1-18 years and 3-18 is obtained from SSB's population statistics as of December 31. The same applies to youth aged 19-20 and the rest of the adult population. This has been the case since the statistical year 2001.

From 2007 onwards, the total number of elderly, long-term sick, and disabled in institutions (C1) and elderly, long-term sick, and disabled receiving home care (group C2) is obtained from the IPLOS register (until 2017) and KPR (from 2018). Up to 2007, these figures were obtained through the KOSTRA form 6, "Home Services, Respite Care and Support Contact," and the KOSTRA form 5, "Institutions for the Elderly and Disabled."

From 2015 onwards, all information about personnel and full-time equivalents is obtained through the a-ordning. The exception is that information about the number of dentist type A full-time equivalents, as well as the number of vacant positions in full-time equivalents as of December 31, is obtained from the KOSTRA form 43. The information about dentist type A full-time equivalents is obtained to keep track of the number of such full-time equivalents and is not included in other calculations of full-time equivalents in the statistics.

Register-Based Personnel Information: The register-based employment statistics were based on various public registers until 2014, with NAV's Aa register being the most important. Starting from 2015, reporting from employers to NAV's Employer/Employee Register (Aa register), as well as some reporting to the Tax Authority and SSB, has been consolidated into a new joint reporting solution called the a-ordning. The a-ordning is a coordinated digital collection of information about employment relationships, income, and tax deductions for the Tax Authority, NAV, and SSB. This means that SSB receives information about wages and employees

The A-ordning has thus replaced NAV's Aa register and the wage and deduction statement register (LTO register). In addition to the A-ordning, other registers are also used, with the most important being the self-reporting register administered by the Norwegian Tax Administration, the register of conscripts from the National Conscription Agency, and the Business Register.

The mentioned registers, along with several others, such as NAV's ARENA register, which provides data on the unemployed and persons in programs, are used as before to ensure data quality, consistency between different data sources, selection of primary employment relationships, and classification as employed.

Data Collection, Editing, and Calculations

Editing is defined here as checking, examining and amending data.

Data on the public dental health service are collected annually through KOSTRA. County dental officers in all counties fill out forms that are submitted electronically. Statistics Norway (SSB) performs automatic sum controls and logical checks on the data reported through the forms. Checks are activated in the electronic form as it is filled out, and additional checks are run after submission. The data is further compared with information from previous years.

County dental chief officers are contacted for missing information or significant deviations in the data based on comparisons and assessments. In such cases, county dental officers provide new figures or explanations for the circumstances.

Collection, editing, and calculations in the production of the register-based personnel statistics

A-ordningen: Statistics Norway (SSB) receives data monthly from the Agency's joint administration (Etatanes fellesforvaltning or EFF), a administrative unit under the Norwegian Tax Administration. EFF manages the A-ordningen on behalf of the Norwegian Tax Administration, NAV (the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration), and SSB.

Self-reporting register: All tax offices utilize information technology in processing tax returns, and details from the individual self-reports are electronically accessible. SSB annually retrieves an extract of the data from the Norwegian Tax Administration.

Register of civilian service workers and conscripts: Until 2014, SSB received quarterly files from the National Service (Vernepliktsverket) and the Civil Service Administration at Dillingøy. The data is processed and compiled into a register with annual information. From 2015 onwards, SSB receives monthly files from the National Service.

Unit Register/Business and Enterprise Register: Variables such as workplace (county) municipality and industry are obtained from the Unit Register and Statistics Norway's Business and Enterprise Register.

For the two most central registers underlying the production from 2015 onwards, controls and editing are conducted as follows:


  1. Business rules (controls) in the reception at the Agency's joint administration (EFF)
  2. Controls in SSB's production system for wages and employment

After the A-report is received by EFF, a series of business rules (controls) are executed to identify errors/deficiencies in the submitted information. Small and medium-sized data providers receive feedback within a short time, while large data providers may have to wait a bit longer. The feedback from EFF includes, among other things, all discrepancies documented with references to where in the report the deviation is and which business rule has been violated.

In SSB's production setup, a series of controls and automatic measures are implemented to ensure data quality for statistical purposes. Three types of controls are distinguished:

  1. Automatic controls and measures
  2. Reports (monitoring)
  3. Manual controls

Controls aimed at identifying errors and deficiencies that should be corrected are mostly directed towards employment relationships. In the production setup, many registered employment relationships are removed because they are considered inactive when no wages are reported for the employment in the reference month. This may apply to seasonal workers who have not worked in the reference month, cases where the end date of terminated employment relationships is not reported, and situations where individuals have been mistakenly reported with active employment. This can include individuals on substitute lists who have not worked during the period.

Self-reporting register: For the Self-reporting register, a series of automated controls are performed. Firstly, it is checked whether the sum of sub-items matches the main items from the self-report. It is further examined whether extreme values are logical in relation to the rest of the self-report. Internal consistency checks are also conducted.

Other sources: The Health Personnel Register (HPR) has an overview of all health and social personnel who have been authorized to practice their profession. Statistics Norway (SSB) receives status as of October 1 for all authorized personnel. HPR only includes education with authorization requirements and does not include all health and social education. Individuals with health and social education who have not applied for authorization will not be included. HPR may also include individuals who have been authorized in Norway but may not necessarily have come to Norway.

As a supplement to HPR, SSB uses the population's highest level of education obtained from NUDB (National Education Database), which contains information on the highest completed education for individuals registered as residents in Norway. This database is updated annually as of October 1.

Not relevant

For figures obtained from KOSTRA form 43 concerning individuals, figures for three and below are anonymized/dotted to protect individual identity from recognition. In tables with row and column sums, secondary dotting is also used to prevent the deduction of the figures that are anonymized.

The statistics published on public dental health services continue the data reporting tradition previously conducted by the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision. Therefore, the statistics are comparable to earlier data published in the annual reports for public dental health services.

From 2015 onwards, register-based employment statistics are based on a new data foundation for wage earners. The transition to this new data foundation provides more precise figures for the number of employed individuals. However, figures based on the new data foundation cannot be directly compared with figures from the old data foundation.

From 2002: The use of a register for personnel information in private dental health services means that this information is collected and delineated differently than before. Therefore, these figures are not comparable to previous data.

From 2003: The use of a register for personnel information in public dental health services results in a different method of collecting and delineating this information compared to before. This means that the figures are not directly comparable over time.

Until the statistical year 2003, adult users of emergency dental care in Oslo were reported as "adult paying clientele." From 2004 onwards, this is no longer the case, leading to a discontinuity in the figures for adult paying clientele between 2003 and 2004 in Oslo. This also results in a break in any other calculations where "adult paying clientele" is involved.

The quality of the statistics depends on accurate information from the data providers. Through control procedures, we can identify the most obvious errors. Additionally, errors can occur in the preparation of statistics, such as typos, code errors, and the like. The statistics for the public dental health service are considered to have few errors when reported by the county dental officers, who have contact with individual dental clinics in the counties. The data then undergoes thorough checks through Statistics Norway's editing procedures and quality controls.

Measurement and Handling Errors

The controls embedded in the electronic forms, the financial statement data extract, and the data reception at SSB provide automatic and rapid feedback to the reporter, allowing them to correct figures during reporting.

Non-Response Errors

KOSTRA data is based on a full count, meaning that all units in this statistic – county municipalities – are supposed to report each year. It can be a challenge, especially in March, if county municipalities do not report data in time for it to be included in the publication. If the dropout is significant by the March publication, it can be challenging to make meaningful statements about the national-level value for certain variables and indicators. To address this dropout, values are estimated for the county municipalities lacking data, allowing for the presentation of estimated values at the national and regional levels.

Several methods are used to estimate national and regional values, depending on what suits each specific statistical variable. Some methods assume a positive correlation between the statistical variable and an explanatory variable within each KOSTRA group, such as population or the previous year's value for the county municipality.

The estimated figures should only be used as an approximation of what the national value could have been if all data had been reported, and not as actual sums. It is very rare for not all county municipalities to have reported data for public dental health services by the preliminary publication on March 15.

A-ordningen, from 2015 onwards: There are deficiencies in reporting employment percentage, which is used to calculate agreed/regular working hours. This is especially relevant for hourly wages. Therefore, SSB (Statistics Norway) has developed a new method that provides better information about working hours. More information can be found in the article: New method provides better information about working hours.

Self-employed individuals are identified using information from the Self-reporting register. This register is only available 11 months after the end of the year. Therefore, SSB uses information from the year before the reference year. Due to this time shift, individuals may be incorrectly classified as employed if they closed their business in the previous year.

The total number of employed individuals was determined by the Labour Force Survey (AKU) collectively before 2015 and distributed between wage earners and self-employed. From 2015 onwards, only the number of self-employed is determined by AKU. For wage earners, the sampling uncertainty associated with AKU figures is eliminated. On the other hand, the level figure for wage earners becomes somewhat underestimated. However, from April 26, 2018, the level figure will no longer be the same. This is because new AKU figures were published after a new estimation method. More about this can be found here: New method provides better AKU figures.

Limitations of published annual man-years figures from register-based employment statistics: Man-years figures obtained from register-based employment statistics at the county municipality level do not account for potential purchases and sales across county municipality borders. They also do not consider inter-county municipal collaborations. If multiple county municipalities have inter-county municipal collaborations involving various personnel, the man-years will only be registered in the host county municipality. The man-years figures also do not account for potential purchases from private or specialist health services.

Not relevant