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Letter to Editor published in The Telegraph - 6 April 2015

13 Apr 2015


Dentists, surgeons and patients are concerned that there continues to be a postcode lottery of care for specialist dental treatment on the NHS.

We are aware that in some parts of the country, patients with head and neck cancer, traumatic injuries and disfigurement of the face and mouth do not have access to dental implant treatment funded by the NHS, whereas in other parts of the country this is a standard treatment.

For affected patients, dental implants can mean the difference between speaking clearly, eating normally, returning to work and recovering from the psychological impact these conditions cause. Implants can help patients with basic aspects of day-to-day life. The question is not of aesthetics but rather need.

Existing clinical guidelines should be made clearer and applied consistently so that every patient who needs this treatment is assessed by a Consultant in Restorative Dentistry and receives the care needed regardless of where they live. We are keen to work with NHS England to find a solution for those patients who are denied essential dental care, including implants.

Professor Nigel Hunt, Dean, Faculty of Dental Surgery, Royal College of Surgeons of England

Miss Ulpee Darbar, Chair, Honorary Secretary, Restorative Dentistry UK (RD-UK)

Dr Trevor W Ferguson, Dean, Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK), Royal College of Surgeons of England

Mr Peter Briggs, President, British Society of Prosthodontics

Mr Paul Pracy, President, British Association of Head and Neck Oncologists

Mr Ken Hemmings, President, British Society for Restorative Dentistry

Mr Mike Davidson, Chairman, British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Dr James Partridge OBE, Chief Executive, Changing Faces

Miss Serpil Djemal, Chair, Dental Trauma UK

Professor Iain Hutchison, Honorary Chief Executive Saving Faces -The Facial Surgery Research Foundation and Director, The National Facial Oral and Oculoplastic Research Centre (NFORC)

This led to a follow up story in The Telegraph on Monday 6 April.

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