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Dental Services

Health written question – answered on 11th July 2012.

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Photo of John Pugh John Pugh Liberal Democrat, Southport

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients were registered in England at NHS dentists in each of the last three years.

Photo of Simon Burns Simon Burns The Minister of State, Department of Health

Information is not available in the format requested.

Under the current dental contractual arrangements, introduced on 1 April 2006, patients do not have to be registered with a national health service dentist to receive NHS care. The closest equivalent measure to ‘registration’ is the number of patients receiving NHS dental services (‘patients seen’) over a 24-month period. However, this is not directly comparable to the registration data for earlier years.

The numbers of patients seen by an NHS dentist in the last three years in England are available in the following table.

It should be noted that the patients seen measure shows the number of patients who received NHS dental care in the previous 24 months; an equivalent measure covering the 12-month period is not available.

Number of patients seen by an NHS dentist in the previous 24-month period ending 31 March each year in England
  Number of patients
2010 28,362,825
2011 29,112,012
2012 29,582,541

The information is taken from the ‘NHS Dental Statistics for England 2011/12, Third quarterly report’, published on 17 May 2012 by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, and is available online at:

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