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Home Industry News Millions of UK children ‘missing out on free dental care’

Millions of UK children ‘missing out on free dental care’

1st September 2017

The British Dental Association (BDA) has urged the government to take action to address the number of children in England who are missing out on free dental care.

New data from NHS Digital has shown that 4.9 million children have not had a free check-up in the 12 months to June 2017. This represents 41.8 percent of all children in England, with this figure down by just 0.2 percent on 2016 figures.

This is despite National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines recommending that children should be seen by a dentist at least once a year, with polling by the BDA revealing that one in four parents are unaware that routine check-ups are free for children aged under 18.

Moreover, 48.6 percent of adults in England have not seen an NHS dentist in the last two years – a total of 21 million, and a slight rise compared to 2016.

Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, chair of general dental practice at the BDA, said: "Tooth decay – a wholly preventable disease – remains the leading cause of hospital admissions for children, but instead of public information campaigns, Westminster has offered radio silence."

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