Over 400 dental practices throughout the United Kingdom are ‘unfit for purpose’ – according to experts.
In a statement released to the media, the group also believe that dental standards are heading towards “Third World” levels because of a “crisis” of access to treatments.
It has also been said that one of the most popular reasons for children to be admitted to a hospital is due to rotten teeth.
So, who exactly has raised these concerns and what do they mean?
Dr. Tony Kilcoyne, a cosmetic and dental specialist, has led a campaign backed by hundreds of prominent UK dentists calling for the new chief dental officer, Sara Hurley, to be transparent and open about the state of the industry if they are to make positive changes.
What do the NHS say about the matter?
Well, non-surprisingly, the NHS have fiercely rejected the claims that standards are the same as the Third World and, in an official statement, a spokesperson said: “These claims are wrong – more patients are getting the dental care they need, and 93% of people got an NHS dental appointment when they wanted one in the last 24 months.”
However, the NHS Alliance, which gives support and assistance to Primary Care Groups, believes the dentists who have called for change make a valid point.
Dr Mark Spencer, NHS Alliance co-chair, said: “Dentistry needs to be much more a part of the multidisciplinary primary care landscape, and also needs to have a larger role in out of urgent hospital care.
“If we are truly serious about improving out of hospital care then there must be increased funding for all primary care providers, including dentistry, to create an integrated care service.
“As with many health inequalities, tooth decay is more common in deprived areas.
“One factor undoubtedly revolves around parenting and poor diet, but also, there is a lack of access to dental care.
“This is a major problem facing many people, but especially those in deprived areas.”
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