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Improving oral health in the City of Espoo


The City of Espoo, the 3rd largest city in Finland and part of the capital region, has more than 90,000 dental care customers and more than 230,000 annual visits. In the field of development and research, even though Espoo has long been one of the pioneers in oral health care in Finland, in 2015 there was still only a limited amount of quality information available on issues such as prevention and early diagnosis.


NHG has long-standing experience in developing metrics for oral health, as its benchmarking services in oral health were launched in 2009. In 2015 Espoo, together with NHG, decided to start developing quality and effectiveness metrics, which continues to the present time. NHG extracts this data and also constructs ten key indicators on a BI dashboard, focusing on outcomes, quality of dental care, and availability of services. To enable continuous improvement, NHG arranges regular meetings between the participating benchmarking actors to share best practices and to learn how metrics have been implemented in different units and also how the units have improved.

With the help of these metrics that have been specifically developed for monitoring oral health, it has been possible to identify challenges in oral health care much more accurately.


In a five-year follow-up, Espoo’s results have improved in all quality and effectiveness indicators. Through the use of metrics and real-time data, the City of Espoo has been able to make rapid changes to its oral health examination practices. For example, in the case of caries, the oral health of Espoo residents has improved with all indicators over the past five years. 

In the field of periodontology, Espoo has made even bigger leaps: while at the beginning of 2019, only 17% of customers were recorded as being subject to a connective tissue examination in connection with an oral examination, the corresponding figure in April 2020 was 63%.  

In 2018, Espoo’s Oral Health Care Quality and Effectiveness Metrics were awarded the Slush Quality Innovation Award. These quality and effectiveness indicators by NHG were also presented at the ICHOM Conference in Rotterdam 2019. 

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