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Response to Care Quality Commission (CQC) ‘Smiling Matters oral health in care homes - Progress report’

20 Mar 2023

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published ‘Smiling Matters oral health in care homes - Progress report’

Responding to the report’s findings, Mr Matthew Garrett, Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery (FDS) at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, said:

“We welcome this important progress report on Smiling Matters and congratulate the CQC on galvanising action on oral health within care homes. It is encouraging that despite the pandemic, care homes have shown improvements in almost all areas and have become more aware of NICE oral health guidelines. This means more people are having their oral health assessed and reviewed.

“However, it is concerning that the number of people in care homes who could ‘never’ access dental care rose from 6% in 2019 to 25% in 2022.  Also that some dentists were unable to visit care homes.  For older people, poor oral health has a huge impact. It can impact their general health, putting them at risk of malnutrition and aspiration pneumonia. It can also be very isolating, making people reluctant to socialise with friends and family.

“We hope that as Integrated Care Systems develop their local plans for oral health, care homes receive the commissioning required to better integrate with dental professionals.”


  1. The Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of England is committed to enabling dentists and specialists to provide patients with the highest possible standards of practice and care.
  2. For more information, please contact the Press Office:

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