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Home Industry News New study highlights NHS costs associated with children’s dental pain

New study highlights NHS costs associated with children’s dental pain

7th March 2018

A new report has highlighted the significant NHS costs associated with children using non-dental services to deal with their dental pains.

Research from Queen Mary University of London has indicated that thousands of children are being taken by parents to pharmacies and non-dental health services – including accident and emergency wards – to deal with oral pain, instead of their dentist.

It is estimated that this trend is costing NHS England £2.3 million a year, with the conclusion based on an analysis of more than half of all pharmacies in London and the behaviours of nearly 7,000 parents.

Prior studies have indicated that only 58 percent of children in England – falling to 49 percent in London – visited a dentist in 2016, even though dental care is free in the UK for under 18s, and national guidelines recommend dental visits at least every year for children.

Lead researcher Dr Vanessa Muirhead, from Queen Mary's Institute of Dentistry, said: "Children with oral pain need to see a dentist for a definitive diagnosis and to treat any tooth decay. Not treating a decayed tooth can result in more pain, abscesses and possible damage to children's permanent teeth."

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