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UK surgeons hail NHS dental recovery plan

Dental Tribune Pakistan

Dental Tribune Pakistan

Wed. 7 February 2024

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UK: NHS England's new Dental Recovery Plan, supported by a £200 million government allocation, promising millions of additional dental appointments in the coming year to address access issues and improve oral health outcomes for patients, has been met with approval by dental professionals.

Dr Charlotte Eckhardt, Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery (FDS) at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, expressed optimism about the plan's potential impact. She highlighted the concerning state of the nation's oral health, particularly among children, citing difficulties in accessing NHS dental services as a contributing factor.

Eckhardt praised NHS England's initiatives outlined in the plan, emphasizing their potential to address oral health disparities and access challenges. Key measures include the introduction of the 'Smile for Life' program, aimed at providing families with guidance on baby gums and milk teeth care, as well as proposals for water fluoridation programs in the North East and dental outreach vans for underserved communities.

The plan's focus on improving working conditions and attracting more dental professionals to the NHS was also welcomed by Eckhardt. However, she noted that recruiting sufficient numbers of NHS dentists would take time. Therefore, she stressed the importance of promoting preventive measures such as regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste, dental check-ups, and reducing sugary food intake to maintain good oral hygiene.

The dental community sees the NHS Dental Recovery Plan as a positive step towards addressing oral health challenges and ensuring better access to dental care for all.

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