Think you need a dental check up every 6 months? Think again.
Everything you think you knew about your dental hygiene routine is about to change according to the NHS.
Routine dentist check-ups every six months are about to be scrapped under an overhaul of NHS services in Scotland. NHS budget cuts mean dentistry is suffering. Patients are missing out on treatment. Some patientsare having to travel tens of miles just make sure they can be seen by a dentist.
NHS Dental cuts – what does this mean for you?
And it is not only check-up appointments that are being cut. The dreaded Scale and Polish is on the road out too! And while some of us may see that as a positive, they did provide a deep clean that was necessary sometimes!
Scale and polishes are being cut under what has been described as the biggest shake-up since the beginning of NHS dentistry. Instead of a Scale and Polish, adults will be given their own tailored care plan based on the current health of their teeth, with the emphasis on looking after their own oral hygiene by eating healthy foods and following a thorough dental hygiene regime.
But why are these cuts being made?
In the recently published oral health improvement plan, Scottish government experts say that there is no real clinical evidence that either six-monthly visits or scale and polishes are necessary in preventing tooth and gum disease. They also stated that most adults can go up to two years between appointments. This is in stark contrast to the normal bi-annual visits we have been used to for years.
Can our teeth really handle these cuts?
Well, it really depends on our overall oral hygiene. Some people go to the dentist and never have need for treatment, some of us go every six months and we do need treatment. If problems go unnoticed for too long, sometimes they become irreparable. This could land us even more time in the big chair.
On top of that, dentists are able to spot the signs of underlying health problems such as cancer, throat infection, snoring problems, diabetes and even heart conditions. Two years between appointments could mean that these symptoms go unnoticed, allowing them to fester.
Patients with health conditions such as type 2 diabetes require additional check-ups from dentists, as they are more prone to periodontitis. Regular treatment means that they are less likely to suffer from gum disease, which, if left untreated can become extremely painful.
Constant cuts to the NHS.
We’re not in love with the idea of these cuts. Especially because more and more of us are finding it hard to access an NHS dentist already.
What do you think? Would you prefer to visit the dentist once every two years?
If you need to register with a dentist, NHS or Private. You can do so by searching your location at www.defactodentists.com .