Dentists pulling out more teeth22nd August 2008
New figures have shown that dentists are now more likely to pull teeth out or fit false ones than provide fillings or crowns.
The findings from the NHS Information Centre show that in England - since the introduction of the new dental contract in April 2006 - treatments involving dentures rose from 38% to 48% between 2003/04 and 2007/08 and extractions from 7% to 8% but the number of crowns fell from 48% to 35% and fillings from 28% to 26%.
Despite an increase of 655 more dentists doing NHS work, it also emerged that there are fewer patients being treated with 27m patients seen by an NHS dentist in England during the past two years, which is 1.1m fewer than the previous two years.
Figures for Wales show similar trends, with the number of extractions up from 8% to 9% while the number of crowns fell from 44% to 35%.
Across England, there are also regional differences with dentists in the South Central Strategic Health Authority spending 56% of their time on NHS work compared with 84% in the North East.
Tim Straughan, chief executive of the NHS Information Centre, said: "These reports show the most comprehensive picture of NHS dentistry to date under the new contractual arrangements.
"As a qualified dentist myself, it is interesting to see how a typical course of dental treatment is changing."
Chief Dental Officer Dr Barry Cockcroft said the figures showed NHS dentistry was "on the road to recovery" but the British Dental Association felt that there were still "significant problems."
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Title: Dentists pulling out more teeth
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 7948
Date Added: 22nd Aug 2008