Five million children failed to see a dentist in past year..

In many health care systems the access to a dentist is one of the key performance indicators. Prolonged lack of dental care can lead to heart disease and Rheumatic Fever may be going to stage a UK comeback in the next decade. Patients fail to book appointments at a dentist for many reasons, but chaotic lives lead to missing appointments, and the appointment system is designed for the people with organisation skills. Walk-in dental surgeries would be appreciated by some of these families, but is it worth it when most of them fail to recognise the damage in sweets and sweet drinks..? A universal tax on sugar would help… As it is in childhood that good dentition is laid down, those adults who cannot get an NHS dentist have to pay… What proportion of the country’s adults is now private? Rationing by undercapacity in dentists has led to a dangerous situation.. The way to control a profession is through overcapacity: same as medics.

Image result for child dental cartoon

On September 24th 2016 the Times reported: Five million children failed to see a dentist in past year

More than four out of ten children have not visited a dentist in the past year and the figure is rising.

A total of 42.1 per cent of under-18s — almost five million children — did not visit an NHS dentist, up from 40 per cent the year before, data from NHS Digital shows.

From 2014 to 2016, 48.3 per cent of adults also did not go to a dentist.

NHS guidelines state that children should visit a dentist at least once every year. Adults might not need to go for up to two years.

More than four million teeth were extracted by NHS dentists in the past year. Among adults, there were 3.1 million extractions, with 917,346 performed on children. Extractions were most common in south Tyneside, with one for every six children and adults. At the other end of the scale was Richmond upon Thames, with one extraction on the NHS for every 39 people.

Geographic Distribution of Pediatric Dentists in Private Practice…


Dental Statistics and participation Scotland

NHS England General Survey Information 


8. The following graph (figure 1) shows the overall survey population breakdown of dental behaviour.
1 Other reason includes: “I no longer have any natural teeth”, “I haven’t had time to visit a dentist”, “I’m on a waiting list for an NHS dentist”, “NHS dental care is too expensive”, “Another reason”.

9. Nationally, just under three fifths (58%) of all respondents stated they had visited an NHS dentist in the last two years. Of the remaining, 10% didn’t try to see an NHS dentist because they stated they “didn’t need to go” or “don’t like going” and 8% didn’t try because they prefer private dentistry.

10. The distribution of the different responses varied across the regions, suggesting there are specific areas with the different Regions to focus on to improve access to NHS dental services.

11. London has the highest proportion of those who have not tried to visit an NHS dental in the last 2 years for because they stated they “didn’t need to go” or “don’t like going (15% of all respondents), suggesting a lack of knowledge on oral health in this region is a particular issue.

12. South of England has the largest proportion of those who stayed with their dentists when they moved from NHS to private (at 9% of all respondents) and also the highest proportion who prefer private dentistry (with 11% of all South of England respondents).

13. North and Midlands and East of England have similar access trends, with a much higher use of NHS dental services than South of England and London (just over 60% of all respondents, compared to 54% of the South and 51% of London respondents). …

Open Wide – The system for dental care is letting patients down. Regulatory gaps need filling and dentists seem to agree..

Getting to see a Health Service physio – like getting to see a health service dentist

Dentistry now outside the Health Services for most of the nation

NHS Dentistry

How do politicians of all parties maintain that the NHS is free at the point of delivery? Dental care is certainly not..
Dentistry is full of perverse incentives

Image result for child dental cartoon


This entry was posted in A Personal View, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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