Access to NHS Dentists

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:46 pm on 12th September 2017.

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Photo of Judith Cummins Judith Cummins Opposition Whip (Commons) 10:46 pm, 12th September 2017

I am really sorry; I cannot give way because of the time.

One of the most shocking figures reveals that the number of children admitted to hospital for tooth extractions has risen by a quarter over the past four years. Some may think that tooth extraction is simply a part of growing up—a rite of passage for children. Some may recount their own personal memories of visiting the dentist. If anyone still holds that sentimental view, they should pause for a moment and rethink. The tooth extractions I am speaking of, which have gone up by a quarter in the last four years, mostly involve a general anaesthetic. A recent freedom of information request to Bradford hospitals sets out the scale of the crisis. In the short period from April to December 2016, 190 children were admitted to hospital to undergo a tooth extraction under general anaesthetic. What was also shocking about this request was the hospital’s admission that those figures were not available prior to April 2016. The hospital did not consider that the procedure warranted reporting.