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Monday 24th October 2016

NI teen teeth amongst worst in Europe

5th December 2011

A study by Queen's University has found that teenagers in Northern Ireland have the worst levels of decay in Europe.


The report showed teenagers in Northern Ireland, in particular those who lived in poor areas, had double the likelihood of having permanently damaged teeth than those who lived in other places. 

The British Dental Association said that a strategy for dental health, which was released in 2006, should be put into practice.

The report also found that young people in poor areas had a higher chance of having teeth removed, while those in wealthy areas were more likely to wear braces and have cosmetic dental work carried out.

Peter Crooks from the BDA said the terms of the dental contract in place at the moment did not give dentists payments to provide "preventative treatments".

He said he thought the Department of Health needed to move faster to implement the dental health strategy.

"I think it is critical that it is implemented as soon as possible. We have been talking with the Department of Health for the past five years and there seems to be very little progress in this and our young people throughout the country need to have better dental health. Prevention will do most to help that on its way." 

The Chief Dental Officer, Donnocha O'Carolan, said dentists were already working with the Department of Health to make improvements.

He said: "We do have poor oral health levels in Northern Ireland but the department has been extremely pro-active in the last five or six years to reduce these decay levels." 


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