Dental Services

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:30 pm on 19th May 2004.

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Photo of Lord Warner Lord Warner Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health) 2:30 pm, 19th May 2004

My Lords, the noble Lord mentioned treadmills but the treadmill problems of dentistry go back to the debacle of the 1990s contract and the shambles after that, which led to a fee cut and the flight of dentists from the NHS. That was not under this Government. We have been putting more money into dentistry. The fees paid to dentists are up. The numbers of NHS dentists are up by 4,000 since 1997. We have invested £90 million in dentistry during the past year. Oral health in children is improving and the number of people who need an intervention after initial assessment is also up since 1997. We accept that there are problems, but it is not all doom and gloom.