Prevention is key to stopping another lost decade of chaos in dentistry


1 April 2016

Leading oral health organisation, the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT), believes that NHS dentistry is failing patients due the current targets put upon them.

The BSDHT comments come following the release todayof research by the British Dental Association (BDA) which highlights how NHS dentistry is failing patients who are most in need.

The organisation believes there is a definite need for the government to recognise how preventative treatments must be the future of the dentistry and central to the governments long overdue new NHS contract for dentists.

Speaking on the BDA’s statement Michaela ONeill, President of the BSDHT said: “It's an incredibly sad reflection on the current state of NHS dentistry when so many dental professionals who try to provide quality treatment are feeling their hands are tied.

“It can't be satisfying knowing that their careers and ability to treat patients effectively is being constantly hampered due to a restrictive and unworkable contract that is forced upon them 

“If these restrictions persist it begs the question what will happen in the future of NHS dentistry? Will the dental workforce become more demoralised by being forced to work under such stress and dissatisfaction in their chosen vocation? We could lose some very talented and brilliant professionals.

“When it comes to their new contract, the government simply must put prevention at the heart of it if they are to make any difference to the state that we find dentistry in today.

“Only through a focus on prevention will we be able to give dental professionals the opportunity to stop problems before they exist and free up time to treat those with more complex needs which need further time to address.

“One area in which there is huge potential to change the course of dentistry over the next decade, and the government must seriously consider, is to utilise the greater skill mix of dental professionals by allowing Dental Hygienists and those dually qualified in dental hygiene and therapy to open a course of treatment.

“This will free up the dentist’s chair for those who are most in need, without making these changes I can only see problems getting far worse as we go on.”


Editors Notes



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The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) is a nationally recognised body that represents over 4,000 Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists across the UK and beyond.

BSDHT maintain an on-going dialogue with the General Dental Council (GDC), the Departments of Health and all of the main groups representing dental care professionals, and attends meetings of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Dentistry, bringing dental hygiene and therapy to the attention of government ministers and MP’s.

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