Many constituents have written to me raising concerns about access to NHS dental treatment. I know this is a real concern to many and I am pleased that last week NHS England announced changes to dental care. These reforms to the dental contract, the first in sixteen years, will improve patient access.
The reforms will allow NHS dentists to be paid more for treating complex cases, such as people who need three fillings or more.
Patients will also be able to see a dental therapist for NHS treatments such as providing fillings, sealants, preventative care for adults and children. This will free up dentists’ time for the most urgent and complex cases.
To help make services more accessible for people, dentists must update the NHS website and directory of services so patients can easily find the availability of dentists in their local area.
High performing dental practices will have the opportunity to increase their activity by a further 10% and see as many patients as possible.
I very much welcome these changes and hope to see access improving for those seeking NHS dental treatment locally.
From the conversations I have had with local dentists on these issues I recognise they may feel that the reforms need to go further - but nonetheless I think these will be viewed as a very positive development.