Study Background

The ENHANCE-D study is a large collaboration, led by Dr Richard Holliday and Professor Elaine McColl from Newcastle University and is one of the largest randomised controlled trials in dentistry in the UK. The study has recently received a major funding award (combined research and NHS costs of £2.8 million) from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). 

The study was designed through a co-production approach which involves a wide range of dental professionals and patients, aiming to evaluate the impact of primary dental care offered in practices across the UK. Dental teams within these practices will offer patients one of three packages of advice and support regarding oral health, of which will be investigated to discern whether there is a beneficial outcome for dental health and/or a cost-effective outcome for the NHS.

Overall, the trial aims to recruit 1460 participants across 56 NHS primary dental care setting in England and Scotland. Each dental practice will identify two staff members (any member of the dental team) to receive training on the advice packages and will be reimbursed for taking part in the research. Novel to this trial will be the use of Dental Therapists and Dental Hygienists as principle investigators (‘leads’) at some dental practices. 

Participant recruitment began in the second half of 2022 and the study will run for four years. Additionally, biological samples (plaque and epithelial cells) will be collected for future analysis and an economic and qualitative evaluation will be completed.   


This study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) [Health Technology Assessment (NIHR129780)]. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.