FDS response to NHS quarterly dental statistics
20 Nov 2014
Professor Nigel Hunt, Dean, Faculty of Dental Surgery, the Royal College of Surgeons in response to NHS quarterly dental statistics released today:
“The figures released today showing that the number of children seeing the dentist has declined since 2006 is particularly concerning in light of a high rate of child tooth decay in England, as revealed by Public Health England in September. Statistics released today show that 90,000 fewer children are seeing the dentist now than in 2006, despite there being a slight improvement since the new dental contract was introduced in 2006 and there are over 3 million children who have not seen an NHS dentist in the last two years.
“Tooth decay is the largest cause of hospitalisation of 5 – 9 year old children despite being entirely preventable. We should ensure that children are able to access an NHS dentist, and that parents are aware of the importance of child oral health so that children are not forced to be referred to hospital for tooth extractions further down the line.
As specialist dentists we call for dental statistics to measure whether children have accessed an NHS dentist in the previous 12 months, rather than 24 months so that steps can be taken to improve child oral health as early as possible.”