Orthodontic Treatment (Children)

Oral Answers to Questions — Hospitals – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th December 1954.

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Photo of Mr Angus Maude Mr Angus Maude , Ealing South 12:00 am, 13th December 1954

asked the Minister of Health how many children in England and Wales were, at the latest date for which statistics are available. awaiting specialist orthodontic treatment under the National Health Service; what is the approximate proportion of these needing treatment for functional defects; and to what extent the waiting lists have increased in recent years.

Photo of Mr Iain Macleod Mr Iain Macleod , Enfield West

I reget that this information is not available.

Photo of Mr Angus Maude Mr Angus Maude , Ealing South

asked the Minister of Health how many orthodontic specialists are available, full or part-time, for the treatment of children in England and Wales under the National Health Service; and to what extent the number has declined in recent years.

Photo of Mr Iain Macleod Mr Iain Macleod , Enfield West

The number of consultants and senior hospital dental officers employed exclusively as orthodontists is 37, compared with 39 on 31st December, 1953; but an appreciable amount of specialist orthodontic work in hospitals is done by other dental consultants and senior hospital dental officers.

Photo of Mr Angus Maude Mr Angus Maude , Ealing South

In view of the fact that the impression seems to be current that the waiting lists are quite considerable and are increasing, can my right hon. Friend say whether the shortage of orthodontic specialists is due to absolute shortage or to low rates of remuneration, and, if the latter, does he not think that a small amount of money invested in this service now might save a great deal of expenditure on the general dental service later?

Photo of Mr Iain Macleod Mr Iain Macleod , Enfield West

Some of these points will probably be covered by the Committee whose appointment I recently announced. There is a good deal of orthodontic work done under the general dental service, and I think that, apart from these figures, one-third of all dental practitioners do at least some work in the orthodontic field.