Aim To use nationally available data sets to undertake an equity audit to support the targeting of resources to meet the needs of patients from deprived communities, in areas where levels of poor oral health remain higher than the rest of the population as a whole.Methods Postcodes of 224,107 patients in County Durham were matched to Lower Super Output Areas (LSOA) for each practice. Deprivation scores were identified for each LSOA. The postcode of dental practices (59) was matched to the LSOA and the practice population divided into quintiles from the most to the least deprived areas.Results Results indicated that the more deprived the area in which a dental practice was located, the greater the proportion of the practice population accessing care from the most deprived quintile. The size of the practice alone was not directly related to meeting the needs of a more deprived population.Conclusions The methodology used in this study can be used to identify inequalities and inequities in oral health in different areas. In the audit area improving access to dental services for those in most need, was best tackled by targeted investment into dental practices located in deprived communities. Audits are recommended to insure a fare distribution of resources to meet local population needs.