Dentists providing more extractions

A patient attending an NHS dentist is now more likely to have dentures or tooth extractions than under the old contractual arrangements, and less likely to have fillings or crowns, a report shows.

According to the NHS Information Centre report, the proportion of treatments involving tooth extractions in England increased from 6.9% to 7.9% between 2003/04 and 2007/08, and the number of dentures increased from 38.1% to 47.9%.

Meanwhile, fillings fell from 28.3% to 26%, and crowns from 47.8% to 35.3%.

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.’

Figures also show that 53.3% of the population in England were seen by an NHS dentist in the 24-month period ending March 31st 2008, representing a 3.9% decrease on the previous 24-month period.

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