In the last 30 years oral healthcare is increasingly being contested. Needs and expectations have evolved to a point of advanced restorative techniques, long term planning for preventative care and evidence-based practice, and patients and payers increasingly require more explicit demonstration of competence. However, relevant data are currently not routinely collected that would support approaches needed to further improve oral health and care. This paper sets out the case to collect and evaluate routinely available data. Variations in care and oral health could be described, which in turn would provide valuable insights for all wishing to further improve oral health and care.