At the end of last week my five-year-old daughter had to go to hospital to have a hyperplastic back tooth removed. The service she received from the NHS was superb. While there we chatted with a nurse who said that the number of children having teeth removed because of bog standard decay was on the rise. She cited an example of a four-year-old boy who the week before had all his baby teeth removed. The reason? Too much sugar and no cleaning. The mother shrugged and said it didn’t really matter. The child faces two years eating on gums before his proper teeth start coming through. What odds on those being cared for?
While waiting for the procedure to finish, I came across this remarkable article in the Daily Telegraph highlighted a major national problem.
A survey by Mori for the Citizens Advice Bureau this week found that seven and a half million Britons have failed to gain access to an NHS dentist in the past two years. In one quarter of the country, no NHS dentists are allowing new patients to join their lists. And despite government targets that every child should have his teeth seen by an expert every year, more than one in three children never see an NHS dentist.
A Wiltshire toothache sufferer who told the Citizens Advice Bureau that he now takes out many of his teeth in his shed – with pliers. More than one in 20 have said they resort to DIY surgery
How come we have an NHS that has to treat people who drink or eat too much, regardless, and yet when it comes to dental care it’s down to how much money you have and where you live?