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Home Industry News Dental patients ‘should not visit GPs for treatment’

Dental patients ‘should not visit GPs for treatment’

16th October 2007

Citizens with dental complaints who are unable to see an NHS dentist have been advised to disregard governmental advice to seek advice from their local GP.

Responding to advice given on the Today programme on Radio 4 by health minister Ben Bradshaw yesterday, the British Medical Association (BMA), notes that GPs do not have the necessary expertise to perform dental work.

Mr Bradshaw told the Today programme that patients requiring urgent treatment and those that are in pain should “demand what is now their right” from a primary care trust or GP.

Dr Laurence Buckman, chairman of the GP committee of the BMA, said: “The health minister needs to correct that statement.

“The government is constantly talking about increased access to general practice. Sending patients on a wild goose chase isn’t going to help an already overworked service.”

He added that these patients, if unable to see a dentist on the NHS, should not request advice from their GP, but should contact their primary care trust.

Earlier this week it was revealed that some dental patients are resorting to removing their own teeth as a result of not being able to receive treatment on the NHS, with six per cent of patients admitting taking such measures in the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health survey.

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