Dentists demand better dental services in care homes

care homesDentists around the UK are calling on the Government to properly fund dental services for residents in care homes.

The Local Dental Committee (LDC) conference has said that dental services for vulnerable older people should become a priority.

In the conference dentists claimed dental treatments should be given the same priority as general health is given in care homes.

‘Good oral health is important for everyone, regardless of their age or circumstances,’ Joe Hendron, chair of the Local Dental Committees Annual Conference, said.

‘Being able to eat, communicate and socialise confidently all depend on maintaining a healthy mouth.

‘Looking after the healthcare needs of vulnerable adults is not simply an issue for care homes, and it shouldn’t be left to chance.

‘For far too long, treating NHS dentistry as an optional extra has robbed residents who could be our relatives, parents and grandparents of the dignity they deserve, with a devastating impact on their health and wellbeing.’

Oral health in care homes

The BDA believes less than 2% of the annual NHS dental budget is spent on treating patients in care homes.

Its research also shows that oral health care provision is poor, causing difficulties eating for residents, which could ultimately lead to dehydration and malnutrition.

Recent updates to NICE quality standards guidelines outlined the importance of assessing and recording care home resident’s oral health needs.

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