EMBARGO: Immediate Release
The latest NHS figures show that there has been a 17% increase in the number of tooth decay related tooth extractions for children in 2022-23 compared to the previous year. Over the period there were 47,581 total extractions in those aged 0-19.
The Liberal Democrats are calling for a dental healthcare rescue plan to boost the number of appointments.
The party is also calling for reforms to guarantee access to an NHS dentist for everyone needing urgent and emergency care, ending DIY dentistry and “dental deserts”, additional resources for mobile dental units to visit schools, community centres and care homes, and the removal of VAT on children’s toothbrushes and toothpaste.
Responding to the figures, Liberal Democrat Health and Social Care spokesperson, Daisy Cooper MP said:
"If dental care under this Conservative government was a tooth, it would need extraction.
"What this Conservative government has done to dentistry in this country is nothing short of a scandal. Patients are forced to literally queue round the block for dental care and it is children who are bearing the brunt of this neglect.
"Tooth decay disrupts lives and is often easily preventable. Parents shouldn't be forced to see their children in pain.
“Yet again, this Conservative Government is tinkering around the edges of the crisis in NHS dentistry with its latest plan. They need to get to the heart of the problem and reform the NHS dental contract to bring more dentists back to the NHS, as well as ending VAT on children’s toothbrushes and toothpaste, and providing additional resources for mobile dental units to visit schools.”
Notes to Editors:
The figures can be found here.