The Faculty of Dental Surgeons at the RCS England comment on childhood tooth extraction figures for 2020-21
10 May 2022
The Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of England comment in response to the publication today (10th May) of childhood tooth extraction figures for 0-19 year-olds in 2020-21.
Dr Charlotte Eckhardt, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgeons at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, said:
“These staggering figures show the challenges of treating children who needed dental surgery during the pandemic. The reduction in the number of caries-related tooth extractions is striking, and dental surgeons now face a huge backlog. Some dental surgeons estimate it could take years to clear the backlog 1. Tooth decay is largely preventable and therefore avoidable through reduced sugar consumption, regular tooth brushing and visits to the dentist. Support for supervised tooth-brushing, in view of the damage done to children’s teeth in recent years, is also now urgent. Equally it is important that we quickly expand water fluoridation schemes across England 2. This is a matter of health equality too. The area with the lowest rate of children’s tooth extractions - the West Midlands - has water fluoridation schemes. If all 5-year-olds in England drank fluoridated water, we would see much less tooth decay - 17% less in wealthy areas and 28% less in the most deprived areas.”
Notes to editors
1. The Faculty of Dental Surgeons (FDS) surveyed over 300 dental surgeons between 10 June 2021 and 25 July 2021.
Full survey results are available in the FDS’s report, 'A resumption of dental services – one year on', found here: A resumption of dental services – one year on — Royal College of Surgeons (rcseng.ac.uk)
2. Statistics on the impact of water fluoridation schemes on children’s health can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/health-and-care-bill-factsheets/health-and-care-bill-water-fluoridation#:~:text=PHE%20estimated%20that%20if%20all,in%20the%20most%20deprived%20areas.
3. The UK government statistics on hospital tooth extractions can be found here: Hospital tooth extractions of 0 to 19 year olds 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
4. The Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of England is an independent professional body committed to helping the entire dental team achieve and maintain excellence in practice and patient care. It provides world-class courses and its qualifications are internationally recognised, including its new Membership of The Faculty of Dental Surgery (MFDS) examination.
For more information, please contact the RCS England Press Office: Tel. 0207 869 6055/6052; email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For out-of-hours media enquiries, please telephone: 0207 869 6056