England’s Dental Epidemic

At the beginning of the month, The Telegraph published a letter from an array of dental professionals which addressed their concerns with the NHS dental system in England. In the letter, the professionals explain that “This is the third year that dental professionals have written to the Daily Telegraph, raising serious concerns that the NHS dental system in England is unfit for purpose.” The letter then goes on to highlight the falling dental health standards in parts of England.

At the basis of their concerns, was a newly introduced charity, Dentaid. Dentaid, which is a charity that caters to low-income families, homeless people, and others who don’t have access to dental services and is most commonly seen in developing third world countries. The introduction of such organization in England only further solidifies their established concerns with the dental system.

Also, amongst their concerns are the number of children who had not visited a dentist by the age of eight. In another article for The Telegraph, a survey found that one in seven children had not seen a dentist by the age of eight. Here, Dr. Barry Cockcroft, the country’s former chief dental officer said, “It is unacceptable in a modern society that people are not bringing their children for dental care when it can cause such pain and discomfort.”

Dental professionals are reflecting on additional figures to justify their doubts. A study from July of 2014 states that nearly 26,000 children were treated for tooth decay in a single year, which was also the most common reason for hospital admission amongst children.

The over 400 professionals behind the letter are requesting that the NHS dental system in England acknowledge that dentists need a decrease in volume targets. They’re hopeful that by relieving dentists of such pressing schedules they would have enough time to simply educate the public on dental health and the potential risks. The epidemic that’s currently highlighted in England is really a concern worldwide, this same issue is very much present in the United States. To learn more about dentistry or dental hygiene check back here for future blogs!