A common measure of dental health is the DMFT index. It describes the amount of dental caries in an individual through calculating the number of decayed (D), missing (M) or filled (F) permanent teeth. The sum of these three figures forms the DMFT index. In this instance, the data are for 12-year-old children.
A DMFT index of less than 1.2 is judged to be very low, 1.2-2.6 is low, 2.7-4.4 is moderate, and 4.5 or more is high.
In 2006, or the closest available year, 12-year-old children in Germany, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland had an average of less than one decayed, missing or filled permanent tooth. In contrast, children in Poland and Hungary had three or more.
The past 25 years have seen substantial falls in the DMFT index across OECD countries, declining from an average 4.7 in 1980, to 2.7 in 1990, and 1.5 in 2006.