Half of adults in England skip regular dental appointments

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New statistics from NHS Digital show that half of adults in England haven’t been to an NHS dentist in the last two years.

Figures reveal that 50.7 percent of adults saw an NHS dentist in the last two years, despite the fact that dentists recommend check-ups every 6-24 months. The figures suggest a decrease in the number of people who have seen an NHS dentist of almost 99,000. Although some patients may have visited private practices, the statistics suggest that many adults aren’t going to the dentist frequently enough.

Data from NHS Digital demonstrated significant regional differences in attendance, with the highest numbers in the North of England. In the North, 56.1% of adults saw a dentist in the two-year period leading up to April 2018, but figures were much lower in London at just 44.3 percent.

A spokesperson for the NHS said that the number of dentists offering NHS services is increasing, and most people are able to see a dentist when they want to.

Despite the availability of services, the statistics show that many are missing out on dental care, and the British Dental Association claims that families that are hard to reach are going without. The BDA has called for the government to do more to target vulnerable patients, and to put prevention at the heart of dental care policies. Recently, experts warned against the government’s “hostile” approach to catering for patients who are entitled to free treatment, as there has been a substantial rise in fines handed out to those claiming free care, and there have also been instances of issues with access to dental services, especially in deprived areas.

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