Dentist slams rise in NHS charges

A top dentist has slammed the government’s hike in NHS dental treatments.

The increase takes effect on 1 April and Paul Batchelor, senior lecturer and consultant in Dental Public Health at University College London & Eastman Dental Hospital, says it contradicts the drive to get more patients through dentists’ doors.

He said: ‘Yet again, there is a lack of coherence in the Department’s thinking.

‘On one hand, they wish to see an increased number of individuals attending while on the other they raise the biggest barrier to attendance, namely patient charges.

He added: ‘The Department talks about integrating dental care into the NHS yet follows a policy that establishes a fundamental difference between it and other primary care services, namely that they are free at the point of delivery.’

The maximum charge for complex NHS dental treatments, such as the fitting of crowns, bridges or dentures will be frozen at the existing rate of £198.

For an examination, advice and any necessary X-rays or scale and polish, the charge will go up by 30p from £16.20 to £16.50.

The charge for intermediate treatments such as fillings or extractions will increase by £1 from £44.60 to £45.60.

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