What you’ve missed this week

Missed out on this week’s dental news? No problem, here’s what happened over the past seven days…

NHS dentists to receive pay rise in December

NHS dentists

NHS dentists in England will receive a 1.68% pay uplift in December, the British Dental Association (BDA) claims.

The Government announced earlier this year in April that it would be increasing NHS pay for dentists.

A 1.68% uplift will be backdated to April 2018 in December, whilst a further 0.65% will be awarded on the 1 April 2019.

The Government announcement in April promised more than a million public sector workers a pay rise.

At the time the Government claimed it would be the biggest pay rise in around 1o years.

Despite this the BDA says the below-inflation pay rise wouldn’t help improve the recruitment issues experienced in NHS dentistry.

Brits don’t believe dentists are checking for oral cancer

oral cancer

Almost three quarters of Brits don’t believe their dentist regularly checks for oral cancer or are unaware they’re doing it.

The Head and Neck Cancer Foundation (HNCF) asked how often Brits have routine check-ups and if they receive oral cancer screening.

Despite 38% claiming to attend every six months, the majority believe they’re missing out on oral cancer checks.

A third of Brits claim they have a dental check up every two years and 13% say the never attend.

A quarter of Brits visit the dentist on an annual basis, 38% every six months and 3% on a monthly basis.

Smoking ban to be introduced in Scottish prisons

Smoking will no longer be allowed in Scotland’s prisons, with a ban on tobacco taking effect from today.

Scotland has introduced a smoking ban in prisons as part of an effort to help inmates quit.

The Scottish Government said the ban is a further step towards its goal of creating a ‘tobacco-free generation’ by 2034.

Extensive preparation work was undertaken ahead of the implementation of the ban, with vaping devices issued earlier this month.

It is estimated about 72% of Scottish prisoners smoke regularly.

Vaping is still allowed and the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) has offered e-cigarette kits free of charge to prisoners who want them for a two-month period before being sold at a discounted rate until April.

The SPS chief executive said the ban would bring ‘significant improvements’.

Kellogg’s introduces traffic light labelling on its cereal boxes


Kellogg’s has decided to implement traffic light labelling on its cereal boxes sold in the UK from January.

The voluntary scheme aims to make it easy for consumers to see foods high in salt, sugar and fat.

Kellogg’s claims it has made the change after listening to its consumers, the Government and retailers.

The labelling will now start to appear on brands including Coco Pops, Corn Flakes and Special K.

Many rival cereal manufacturers have already introduced the traffic light system, with Nestlé adopting it in 2017.

Dental phobia causing millions of children to miss out on NHS dental care

dental phobia

Millions of children are missing out on free NHS dental care due to dental anxiety, the Dental Law Partnership claims.

NHS data shows 58.7% of children (6.9 million) in England attended an NHS dentist appointment in the past year.

The Dental Law Partnership believes dental phobia could be the main reason behind the low attendance.

Attendance rates vary across the country, with London having the lowest percentage of attenders (49.9%).

Greater Manchester has the highest attendance rate, with 64.3% of children attending an NHS appointment.

Millions at risk of mouth cancer by being unaware of ‘big three risks’

The Oral Health Foundation is urging people to be more aware of how their lifestyle choices can increase their risk of mouth cancer

The charity is calling for the UK to be more Mouthaware, following new research which shows a systemic misunderstanding of mouth cancer and what causes it.

The newly-published ‘State of Mouth Cancer UK’ report finds that two in three (68%) British adults do not consider themselves to be at any risk of developing mouth cancer, despite many admitting to making lifestyle choices that contribute to the disease.

Fifty percent do not realise tobacco is linked to mouth cancer and just under half (48%) of those who exceed the government’s weekly alcohol intake are unaware that drinking to excess increases the risk of mouth cancer.

More than three in four (76%) sexually-active adults do not know that oral sex, which is how the human papillomavirus (HPV) is transmitted, is a risk factor of mouth cancer (State of Mouth Cancer UK report).

GDC changes quality assurance for dentists’ education and training

GDC commits to development of a risk-based quality assurance process for dental education.

The major change for education providers is that the frequency, duration, scope and depth of inspections will be determined by an assessment of risk, based on a range of factors including results drawn from new annual education provider self-assessments.

The new risk-based system means that the frequency of visits from the GDC may increase, but it also means the duration of inspection is likely to decrease, to reflect the more focused and targeted nature of inspections.

A further major change is the introduction of thematic reviews which are to run in parallel to the risk-based approach to individual providers.

Catch up on last week’s news here.

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