Three in five call for dentists to be paid more for NHS work

Is there a crisis in dental nursing?

Two thirds of the public believe NHS dental services to be in crisis, with the majority wanting more government investment in dentistry.

The Oral Health Index, published by the Wrigley Oral Healthcare Programme, highlights public disenchantment with dental services across the UK.

The report shows that two thirds of respondents (64%) believe the country is experiencing a crisis in dental service provision – a broadly similar proportion to 2022’s Index (67%).

Other findings include:

  • One third (32%) of the population are anxious about the state of their oral health
  • One in ten (10%) people in England have missed more than two weeks of work in the past three years due to oral health issues
  • The majority (72%) of people want to see more investment from government in dental services
  • More than three in five (62%) want dental professionals to be paid more for NHS work.

Mix of investment

Dr Ben Atkins said: ‘Without regular dental check-ups, smaller and preventable oral health issues can easily turn into much larger problems that require urgent and lengthy treatments. This is leaving people in pain and resulting in them taking extended periods of time off work, too.

‘The Oral Health Index’s findings have underscored the importance of addressing the crisis in NHS dentistry. A mix of investment in services and preventative programmes is needed, and we want to see the contribution that sugar-free chewing gum can make to good oral health reflected in national guidance.’

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