|An unusually expensive extraction!|
Private treatment including root fillings and crowns quickly adds up to bills for many hundreds of pounds. It is hardly surprising that extraction, often not the preferred option, is necessitated by cost.
A report last year claimed that patients were having to pull out their own teeth because NHS dental practices are refusing to register new patients. The figures have prompted concerns of an “emerging crisis” in dental care in England, with the British Dental Association (BDA) accusing the Government of commissioning only enough dentistry to treat about half the adult population.
News broke in 2008 that the Government's contract with NHS dentists, introduced in 2006, had been such a failure that nearly a million fewer patients were visiting the dentist, and the number of crowns, bridges and dentures being fitted had fallen by more than half, while the number of extractions had risen. An estimated 7.4 million people cannot find an NHS dentist to do elementary dental work such as fillings.
Recent findings show that "Tooth decay is the number one reason for child hospital admissions, but communities across England have been "left hamstrung without resources or leadership". There have been calls for a crackdown on unhealthy foods and soft drinks to combat "spiralling cases of tooth decay" with an "urgent need" to introduce measures to curb our sugar addiction which is causing children's teeth to rot.
The food and drinks industry is of course motivated by profit. That sounds familiar. In many areas it is not difficult to find a dentist but it is very difficult if you want NHS treatment.
A debate on children's dental examinations and treatment is due to take place in the House of Lords on January 18. It shouldn't be too difficult for their Lordships to come to a conclusion.