Hesperian Health Guides

Records, Reports, and Surveys

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HealthWiki > Where There Is No Dentist > Appendices > Records, Reports, and Surveys

drawing of a mouth with 4 teeth labeled.
Here are the short names of 4 teeth. Can you find the tooth named LL5?
UR 3
UL 6
LL 8
LR 2

For record keeping, you can divide the mouth into 4 parts:

  • Upper Right (UR)
  • Upper Left (UL)
  • Lower Left (LL)
  • Lower Right (LR)

In each part there are 8 teeth (fewer in children).

You can call each tooth by its short name, for example, UR3.

Keep a record of each person you see. Write some brief information about the person and the problem. This way, if the person returns, you remember what you did to help.

Treatment Record book for recording the diagnosis and treatment for each person seen.

When a person needs to come more than once to take care of a problem, it is better to keep a special record for that person. With all the treatments on one page, you can follow that person’s progress more easily. Below is an example for a person named Yupere. Yupere has a bad tooth that has hurt from time to time for 2 months. One day when he woke up, his face was swollen. Yupere decided to wait a day to see if the swelling would go away. The next day it was worse, so he went to the medical post for treatment.

a box of Special Care Records with a card for each person seen.


You need to write a report whenever you send a person for medical help. Give as much information as possible so that your treatment can continue and new treatment starts as quickly as possible. If you cannot go along, always send a report with a sick person.

The story of Niame: After drinking for several hours, Niame’s husband returned home asking for money. She had none and told him so. He did not believe Niame, so he beat her with his hands and then a knife. Naime’s friends carried her, unconscious and bleeding, to the aid post. The front part of her lower jaw was hanging out of position.

special care record and report on Niame's treatment.


It is a good idea to know how many persons in your community have cavities and gum disease. Look in the mouths of children and adults and make a record of what you see. Here is an example that is used in Mozambique:

Put a line through the circle for each person with:

  • cavities Ø * red, swollen gums Ø

3 papers for recording cavities and gum disease in young children, older children, and adults.

The dental workers in Mozambique do a quick survey in 2 schools, 2 mother-and-child health clinics, and 2 cooperatives or factories in their community.

In each place, they examine 50 persons. This is enough to give an idea of the general health of teeth and gums in the community.
They make a paper for each age group. Each paper has 3 sections. They make a mark for each person they see, until all 50 circles have marks in them. They make extra marks if they see a tooth and/or gum problem.

In this example, you can see that children have more problems with cavities, while adults suffer more from gum disease. This is often true.

This survey helps the dental worker in three ways:

  1. it shows how serious tooth decay and gum disease are in the community.
  2. it shows which age group is suffering the most. To these people the dental worker must plan to give the most attention.
  3. it gives the dental worker something to show the people when they are discussing why to change some old habits and adapt some new ideas.
This page was updated:19 Feb 2018