How long is too long to wait for a dental operation?
The number of children in England waiting longer than six months for a dental operation under general anaesthesia has risen by 52% over the past three years, data provided by NHS trusts suggests.
Children are being forced to suffer due to continuous cuts to NHS dentistry.
If it seems like all we talk about on this blog is the effects of NHS cuts to children’s oral health, you’ve got a point. But, it would seem like there is always a new story to report on with regards to how kids’ oral health is going to be even worse off – if that was possible!
Children in the UK are now being added to long waiting lists for dental treatment that requires surgery. This might be a result of poor oral health, leading to tooth decay, or it may be due to a sports injury or a growth defect that requires tooth extraction. Regardless of the cause, children are now being forced to wait a minimum of six months before getting treatment.
Well, government cuts are harming resources, and ultimately, resources are stretched to the max. Less money is being spent on our children’s oral health, and it’s the kids who are feeling the brunt of it. Reports from the labour party suggested that the Tory cuts are driving people to DIY dentistry, simply to try and get rid of the pain instead of waiting on NHS waiting lists.
Jon Ashworth, the shadow health minister, said: “It is completely unacceptable that vulnerable children are increasingly waiting for months in agony to have their teeth fixed. “We’ve also heard horrific stories of people forced to resort to extreme measures in utter desperation. In the fifth-richest nation in the world, this is a damning indictment of Tory neglect of our health service.”
We couldn’t agree more. The NHS is there to provide free oral health care to children until age 18 but so many children are being failed because of these never-ending cuts.
What can we do?
We always say that prevention is better than cure. Tooth decay remains the number one reason for planned hospital admissions among children in the UK. However, tooth decay is an entirely preventable disease. So what can we do? Well, manifesting a good and thorough oral health care routine into our kids is vital. Brushing for 2 minutes, twice a day is only the first step. We also need to consider the foods and drinks our kids are consuming. Can we but back on sugar? Can we choose healthier options? Alongside that, visiting the dentist for regular check ups, should help your kid to look after their teeth.
Can you help me find a dentist for my child?
You’re in luck! We can. Here at Defacto Dentists, we want everyone to find their perfect dentist. On our website, a simple location search will allow you to find a dentist within seconds. To register a child with a dentist near you, search your location and from the checklist on the left, select ‘child-friendly’ to narrow the search. Browse your options and get in touch with the practice that best suits the needs of you and your child!