The BDA has warned that the oral health of children is set to worsen following new research highlighting the lack of access to NHS dentistry.
New research commissioned by the Liberal Democrats has highlighted that 6.5 million children in England have not been seen by an NHS dentist in at least a year.
As a result, the British Dental Association (BDA) has warned that this lack of access will widen the UK’s oral health gap. This is because it will disproportionately impact lower income, higher needs families.
In addition, the first oral health survey of five-year-olds since lockdown took place in March this year. It showed that decay levels had not improved and highlighted a widening gap between rich and poor.
Dentistry’s top stories
- There isn’t a dental nurse shortage, and here’s why…
- My experience as a trans man in dentistry – and how it can be more inclusive
- Why I’m unsurprised we’re in a dental nursing recruitment crisis
- Hundreds of dentists only doing one NHS check up a year
- ‘Grotesque display of priorities’ – NHS dental charge increase will hit hard.
Set to go from bad to worse
The March survey also showed that 23.7% of five-year-olds in England had experience of obvious dentinal decay. This is a marginal increase from the previous survey in 2019 in which figures stood at 23.4%.
‘Access to dentistry has fallen off a cliff,’ BDA chair Eddie Crouch said. ‘We’re losing the ability to nip problems in the bud, and the results are frankly devastating.
‘A preventable disease remains the number one reason for hospital admissions among young children, and things are set to go from bad to worse.
‘Kids in our most deprived communities will be hit the hardest while government sits on the side-lines.’
What are your thoughts on this story? Share to [email protected]
Follow Dentistry.co.uk on Instagram to keep up with all the latest dental news and trends.