Dental treatment falls among children in Northern Ireland

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The number of children receiving dental treatment in Northern Ireland has fallen significantly.

New figures suggest that the number of children undergoing treatments excluding basic checks has decreased by 37% since the pandemic. The statistics were revealed as part of an annual Department for Health report on family health services.

Despite the fall in dental treatments among children since the start of the pandemic, there has been an increase in the number of children receiving treatment that exceeds the most basic level since last year. The number of children who had treatment that doesn’t include routine checks has increased by 47% since 2021. Almost 76,000 children received more complex treatment in 2021/2022.

The report also revealed that female dentists now make up 59% of the workforce in Northern Ireland. New figures show that 71% of dentists aged 35 and under are female. The proportion of male dentists is higher in older age groups. Over 60% of dentists aged 50 and above are male.

The report indicates that 67% of the population is registered with a health service dentist. This includes 72% of children. The overall registration rate is 3% higher than in March 2020. However, the proportion of children registered with a dentist has fallen by 3% since the start of the pandemic.

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