Dental Services

Department of Health written question – answered on 31st January 2017.

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Photo of Karen Lumley Karen Lumley Conservative, Redditch

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what plans he has to improve access to affordable dentistry services.

Photo of David Mowat David Mowat The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

Overall access to National Health Service dentistry continues to increase. 22 million adults were seen by dentist in the 24 month period ending 30 September 2016 and 6.7 million children were seen by a dentist in the 12 month period ending 30 September 2015, this represents 51.3% of the adult population and 57.9% of the child population. The latest GP patient survey (January - March 2016) also showed that nationally 93% of patients who had tried to get an NHS dental appointment in the last 24 months were successful.

New ways of providing care are being trialled to further improve oral health and increase access, by preventing as well as treating disease, so freeing up resource. Alongside this a new programme, the Starting Well Programme, is being developed to work in 13 high needs areas to improve access to dental services for children known to be at greater risk of dental disease.

NHS dental treatment remains affordable. All children receive free NHS treatment. Charges for NHS treatment for adults remain heavily subsidised and there is also partial help with charges for those on low incomes.

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