Children are now more likely to be admitted to hospital because of tooth decay than for any other health issue
The enduring sense that dentistry is expensive and increasingly weighted towards private patients does not help. Last year Dr Sara Hurley, chief dental officer for England, made headlines when she suggested that patients should challenge dentists who insist they must come back for check-ups every six months. Although Dr Hurley’s advice appeared to be aimed at patients with good oral health, her comments served to reinforce the view that the cash-strapped NHS has other priorities.
This prevailing narrative of dentistry runs somewhat counter to the ambition of the NHS to focus on preventative interventions, with the aim of keeping as many people in good health for as long as possible and out of hospital. The NHS also promotes a policy of making every contact count, advising all health professionals to use each patient contact to encourage changes in behaviour with a positive impact on health and wellbeing.
This approach appears tailor made for the approximately 24,000 NHS dentists, who see some 30 million patients over a typical two-year period. Not only are dentists likely to be able to spend more time with each patient than a GP, but in recent years dentists have advanced their understanding of the strong association between oral health and general physical health.
If you have any concerns about your child's oral health, please contact our Liverpool Dentist who will be happy to discuss your concerns with you.