Dental Sector Deteriorates Leaving Kent with One Dentist per 4000 Patients


Without rapid action from the UK Government to restructure, inject more money, and hire more personnel, millions of UK citizens will miss out on necessary dental treatment.

Just 2,815 NHS dentists (1 per 3,476 patients) work within areas of over 11.5 million in the ten poorest counties across England.

“Just 2,815 NHS dentists (1 per 3,476 patients) work within areas of over 11.5 million“

Kent has the weakest access to NHS dental care in all of the UK, having just over 400 dentists and 1.6 million residents. That’s equivalent to 1 dentist per 3,904 people.

Chair of the BDA, Eddie Crouch, described how “ministers are just rearranging the deckchairs as the ship goes down. Underfunded and overstretched, if this service is going to have a future it requires urgent reform and investment.”

Front-line dentists are now claiming that Whitehall's promises to implement new methods to enhance care are inadequate, and that the Government is not investing enough money into the sector.

In December, the NHS was assured they would receive “fairer payments for delivering complex dental care” by the Government.

In theory, this fixes the problem whereby dental offices don’t have the financial resources to accept patients who require "extensive" treatment.

The Health Minister, Neil O'Brien, is aware that this “will not solve all the problems overnight, but it will help improve access and ensure the system supports dentists and their teams.”

A rep from the Department of Health and Social Care explained that they are “investing more than £3 billion a year to improve access to dental care for all NHS patients and we've changed the dental contract to ensure that dentists are paid more for complex work and are treating the maximum number of patients possible.”

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