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Found 88 results
  1. News Article
    The government is considering plans to allow dentists from abroad to work without taking an exam to check their education and skills. The proposal, which is subject to a three-month consultation, aims to address the severe shortage of NHS dentists. It is hoped a quicker process would attract more dentists. The British Dental Association has accused the government of avoiding the issues "forcing" dentists to quit. The proposal forms part of the government's £200 million NHS Dental Recovery Plan for England, announced earlier this month. Under the plan, dentists could also be paid more for NHS work, while so-called "dental vans" would be rolled out to areas with low coverage, alongside an advice programme for new parents. There is also a proposal of £20,000 bonuses for dentists working in under-served communities, as part of an effort to increase appointment capacity by 2.5 million next year. At present, overseas dentists are required to pass an exam before they can start work in the UK - the new idea would see the General Dental Council (GDC) granted powers to provisionally register them without a test. Stefan Czerniawski, executive director of strategy at the GDC said: "We need to move at pace, but we need to take the time to get this right - and we will work with stakeholders across the dental sector and four nations to do so." Read full story Source: BBC News, 17 February 2024
  2. Community Post
    We want to hear from patients with experience of NHS and/or private orthodontists and dentists in any healthcare setting, including community practices and hospitals. Did the orthodontist/dentist give you the treatment and support you needed? If you had ongoing problems, how did the orthodontist/dentist and other healthcare professionals respond? Have you tried to make a complaint? You can read one patient's experience in this opinion piece: “I’ve been mocked, scolded and gaslighted”: a harmed patient’s experience of orthodontic treatment
  3. News Article
    ‘This is a very painful thing to admit,” says Emily Roberts, a 47-year-old teacher from south London, “but my entire adult life has been shaped by trying to survive what has been done to me.” Roberts (not her real name) is one of hundreds of British people who believe that they have been unintentionally maimed by orthodontists — dentists who specialise in irregular teeth and jaws. Along with thousands of others around the world, they share their experiences and post photographs and x-rays on Facebook groups. They say that lifelong damage was done to them as children — not by shady backstreet operators but by regular high street practitioners. Many say that as a result their adult lives have been blighted by painful and debilitating symptoms. “I’ve spent my entire adult life working on my body to try to get my posture right or get out of pain,” Roberts says. She has seen neurologists, osteopaths, pain-management specialists. Nothing has worked. She considered taking legal action against the orthodontist who initially treated her — for seven years in total — but the UK’s statute of limitations states that claims for dental negligence must be made within three years of the treatment and the time limit elapsed while she was still considering her options. Lauren Packham, 36, was 12 years old when she had four premolar teeth removed to correct an overbite that she says “wasn’t even that bad”. She then wore fixed braces and elastics to retract her teeth. In her twenties she had three wisdom teeth removed after they became painful. “If I knew what I know now, I wouldn’t have had them out,” she says. In the past few years Packham, who lives in Plymouth, has suffered worsening jaw pain and migraines. She has also experienced sleep problems since her late teens. “If I sleep on my back, my breathing just cuts off. I’ve since had a diagnosis of sleep-disordered breathing.” A Harley Street sleep specialist doctor she saw privately pointed to her orthodontic treatment as the likely cause of her health issues. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 11 February 2024 Further reading on the hub: “I’ve been mocked, scolded and gaslighted”: a harmed patient’s experience of orthodontic treatment A patient harmed by orthodontic treatment shares their story Share your experience of orthodontist and dentistry services
  4. News Article
    Health service dentistry in Northern Ireland could be caught in a "death spiral" without radical action, more than 700 dentists have warned. They say a combination of factors could make the service unsustainable. These include a potential ban on dental amalgam metals used in fillings, budget pressures and a "financially unviable contractual framework". The dentists have called on the Department of Health (DoH) "to show leadership and take action now". A DoH spokesperson said the department "valued the important role" of dentists and was "aware of the ongoing pressures on dental practices". In an open letter to Peter May, the top civil servant at the DoH, dentists from the British Dental Association (BDA) Northern Ireland warned that services were under "intolerable pressure". The letter said: "Despite clear evidence and repeated warnings issued by the BDA about the death spiral health service dentistry in Northern Ireland appears to be in, we have seen inaction from the authorities." The dentists added that a move away from health service dentistry was "well and truly underway" and dentists would "be increasingly driven out of health service dentistry to keep their practices afloat". Read full story Source: BBC News, 30 January 2024
  5. News Article
    The traditional model of NHS dentistry is gone for good, experts are warning. The Nuffield Trust think tank said the service had been cut back so much it was now at the most perilous position in its 75-year history in England. It said restoring services would probably need an unrealistic amount of money and called for radical reform, suggesting NHS support may need to be completely scaled back for some adults. The Nuffield Trust said funding for NHS dentistry had suffered huge cuts in recent years. Some £3.1bn was spent in 2021-22 - a drop of £525m since 2014-15 once inflation is taken into account. It said the number of treatments being done each year was now six million lower than it was before the pandemic. The Nuffield Trust said tough policy choices needed to be made, suggesting one option could be to start charging adults for the full cost of treatment beyond emergency work and check-ups. Shawn Charlwood, chairman of the British Dental Association's general dental practice committee, said the report "reads like the last rites for NHS dentistry" and that "patients and this profession deserve some honesty here". He added: "The government say NHS dentistry should be accessible for all who need it. "The plain facts are we're not seeing any evidence of the reforms or the resources to realise that ambition." Read full story Source: BBC News, 19 December 2023
  6. Content Article
    NHS-funded dental services in England are in near-terminal decline: nearly six million fewer courses of NHS dental treatment were provided last year than in the pre-pandemic year; funding in 2021/22 was over £500m lower in real terms than in 2014/15; and there are widespread problems in accessing a dentist. So what is to be done? This major new policy briefing from the Nuffield Trust proposes a series of short-term actions relating to appointment recall intervals, commissioning and the workforce. It also sets out two approaches for longer-term action, which involve improving the current dental model or adjusting the NHS offer.
  7. News Article
    Lack of access to dentists is costing lives because mouth cancers are not being spotted or treated early enough, a health charity has told BBC News. The disease killed more than 3,000 people in 2021 - up 46%, from 2,075 a decade ago, latest figures obtained by the Oral Health Foundation show. And last year, a BBC News investigation revealed 90% of UK NHS dental practices were not accepting new adult patients. The government has announced plans to increase dental-training places by 40%. It also said the NHS was treating more people for cancer at an earlier stage than ever before. Oral Health Foundation chief executive Nigel Carter says dental check-ups "are a key place for identifying the early stage of mouth cancer". "With access to NHS dentistry in tatters, we fear that many people with mouth cancer will not receive a timely diagnosis," he adds. Read full story Source: BBC News, 8 November 2023
  8. News Article
    Record numbers of patients are complaining to the NHS Ombudsman about poor care, exorbitant fees and difficulty getting treatment from NHS dental services in England. Mistakes by dentists mean some patients are being left in agony – in some cases unable to eat – while others are being landed with huge bills for work on their teeth. “Poor dental care leaves patients frustrated, in pain and out of pocket,” said Rob Behrens, the parliamentary and health service ombudsman. The number of complaints he receives every year about NHS dental services has jumped from 1,193 in 2017-18 to 1,982 in 2022-23 – a rise of 66%. Behrens also disclosed that the proportion of complaints he upholds about NHS dentistry after an investigation has increased from 42% to 78% over the same period. That 78% figure for upheld complaints about dental services is “significantly more” than for any other area of NHS care, such as GP, hospital or mental health care, where the overall average is 60%, he said. Dentistry has become one of the public’s main concerns about the NHS, especially the obstacles many people face when trying to access NHS care. A BBC survey last year found that 90% of surgeries across the UK were not accepting new adult patients and 80% were not taking on children as new patients. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 30 October 2023 Related reading on the hub: “I’ve been mocked, scolded and gaslighted”: a harmed patient’s experience of orthodontic treatment A patient harmed by orthodontic treatment shares their story We want to hear from patients with experience of NHS and/or private orthodontists and dentists in any healthcare setting, including community practices and hospitals. Did the orthodontist/dentist give you the treatment and support you needed? If you had ongoing problems, how did the orthodontist/dentist and other healthcare professionals respond? Have you tried to make a complaint? Share your experience of orthodontist and dentistry services
  9. News Article
    The daughter of a man who took his own life after experiencing years of pain linked to botched dental surgery said she had "lost faith in the system". Clive Worthington, from Harlow, Essex, travelled to Hungary for dental implants in 2008. Several follow-up procedures from the same dentist back in the UK over the next seven years were unsuccessful. The government said it was addressing a so-called loophole which meant the 81-year-old missed out on compensation. Last week, an inquest concluded Mr Worthington's death in 2022 was a suicide. Senior Essex coroner Lincoln Brookes said the "long-term consequences" of Mr Worthington's unsuccessful dental surgery "impacted significantly on his mental health and ability to cope with daily life". In 2017, the General Dental Council (GDC) found Dr Eszter Gömbös, who was employed by Perfect Profiles, at fault for the work. Mr Worthington was awarded £117,378 in damages and legal costs at Chelmsford County Court in November 2019 - one of the highest pay-outs for dental negligence in the UK. But the insurer which covered Dr Gömbös - the Dental Defence Union (DDU) - argued "discretionary indemnity" and refused to pay. Read full story Source: BBC News, 12 October 2023 Related hub content “I’ve been mocked, scolded and gaslighted”: a harmed patient’s experience of orthodontic treatment A patient harmed by orthodontic treatment shares their story We want to hear from patients with experience of NHS and/or private orthodontists and dentists in any healthcare setting, including community practices and hospitals. Did the orthodontist/dentist give you the treatment and support you needed? If you had ongoing problems, how did the orthodontist/dentist and other healthcare professionals respond? Have you tried to make a complaint? Share your experience of orthodontist and dentistry services
  10. Event
    This Westminster Health Forum conference focuses on key priorities and next steps for dentistry in England. Delegates will discuss next steps for service recovery following pandemic disruption, with funding from the Government last year aimed at managing backlogs. Policy-makers and dentistry stakeholders will assess findings from the Health and Social Care Select Committee inquiry published in the summer, which looked at accessibility to NHS dentistry, the Dental Contract and the workforce. Sessions in the agenda will look at next steps, including issues around workforce retention and the future sustainability of the profession. The Westminster Health Forum conference will also be an opportunity to discuss the 2022-2023 contract reform agreements, focusing on impact so far and the way forward as integrated care systems implement their responsibilities for commissioning dentistry services - as well as the role of dentistry within development of ICSs, and prospects for further development and support for dentistry. Delegates will look at priorities for delivering efficient oral healthcare and the wider drive to improve prevention, including the impact of pooled budgets, and priorities for building dental teams. Overall, areas for discussion include: service restoration: addressing backlogs in balance with safety and infection control - balancing routine appointment catch-up with delivering emergency dental care - the impact of funding. dental contract reform: possible outcomes and implications for the sector - providing clarity following prototype practices being dropped - impact of the pandemic. workforce: assessing reform to dentistry education and training - progress since the Advancing Dental Care Review - concerns around retention and the future sustainability of the profession. integrated care: the role of dentistry within ICSs, as well as the wider focus on prevention - changes to commissioning - the impact of pooled budgets on dentistry. accessibility: identifying and overcoming barriers to access - improving the availability of services - addressing health inequalities. integrated oral care: the role of dentistry in preventative healthcare - the impact of commissioning changes. professional regulation: the priorities and outlook for reform for the dentistry profession - options for streamlining and efficiency - standards and support for the sector. Register
  11. Content Article
    In this chart of the week from the Nuffield Trust, Ose Ogbebor looks at how the numbers of recommendations from 111 for further dental care have changed over the past four years. NHS 111 data indicates that demand for dental care is still at higher levels than before the pandemic, providing further evidence for the need for urgent NHS dental reform.
  12. Content Article
    To mark this year’s World Patient Safety Day (WPSD), the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) will be running a series of blogs and Talking Heads on key surgical and dental topics in this area. These have been provided by patients, families and carers, alongside members of the College’s Patient Safety Group, College Council and the wider College fellowship. The College’s eleven Surgical Specialty Boards (SSBs) have been asked to provide blogs on how patient involvement in their individual specialty has helped to drive up standards of care. The blogs will provide examples of how patients and carers can play vital roles in making decisions about their own individual care and also how they can enhance the safety of the healthcare system as a whole by contributing to strategic decisions at organisational level. Two blogs will be released on each day of the College’s week-long WPSD campaign, starting on Monday 11 September and leading up to WPSD on Sunday 17 September. Members and Fellows will have access to these through the College website following the campaign.
  13. Content Article
    In this anonymous blog, a patient shares their experience of orthodontic treatment which they undertook to reduce overcrowding of their teeth. However, instead of solving the problem, the treatment caused multiple, complex dental issues that have resulted in severe pain and a high financial cost. The patient talks about how their orthodontist has been unwilling to take any responsibility for the issues caused, threatening legal action if the patient pursues any claims against them. They also discuss the reluctance of other orthodontists to get involved in trying to treat the issues they now face, and call for regulators and governments to look into the issue of negligent orthodontic treatment.
  14. Content Article
    This NHS dentistry and oral health update has a special focus on patient safety. It includes an introduction by newly appointed Interim Chief Dental Officer (CDO) for England, Jason Wong and covers the following topics: Quality and safety in dental care  Contributing to patient safety learning Using the Learning from Patient Safety Events (LFPSE) service Patient safety incidents and harm Patient Safety Incident Response Framework (PSIRF) Spotlight on Project Sphere Regulatory support Clinical leadership in patient safety
  15. News Article
    Children in some areas of England are waiting up to 18 months on average for dental general-anaesthetic treatment and teeth extractions, an investigation reveals. Some have been left with prolonged dental pain, according to information shared with BBC News. The parents of one girl who has waited three years for extractions say the pain keeps her up at night. At the start of this year, more than 12,000 under-18s were on waiting lists for assessment or treatment at community dental service (CDS) providers, data obtained by the Liberal Democrats from the NHS Business Services Authority and shared with BBC News earlier this year reveals. Children are referred to a CDS provider when they have tooth decay too severe to be treated in general practice. They also treat those with physical or learning disabilities when general practice is not a practical option. The longest average wait faced by children for general-anaesthetic treatment at a CDS provider is 80 weeks, at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust. Read full story Source: BBC News, 19 July 2023
  16. Content Article
    The pain and distress of not being able to see an NHS dentist are "totally unacceptable", an inquiry has told the government. A review was launched after a BBC investigation found 9 in 10 NHS dental practices across the UK were not accepting new adult patients. Some people drove hundreds of miles for treatment or even resorted to pulling out their own teeth, the BBC found. The government says it invests more than £3bn a year in dentistry. But a damning report, by the Commons' Health and Social Care Committee, says more needs to be done, and quickly. The House of Commons Committee report with recommendations to government can be viewed at the link below. The Government has two months to respond.
  17. Content Article
    In this opinion piece, a patient shares their experience of trying to access support from the healthcare system for debilitating jaw pain. They describe being dismissed and laughed at by doctors and orthodontists, highlight a knowledge gap around jaw issues and outline the need for more accountability in the orthodontics industry.
  18. News Article
    Proposals for primary care networks to evolve into more collaborative “integrated neighbourhood teams” to improve access to care have been broadly welcomed. A “stocktake” report commissioned by NHS England, published on 26 May, called for urgent same day appointments to be dealt with by “single, urgent care teams” for every neighbourhood with greater use of a range of health and social care professionals. The report, written by Claire Fuller, a general practitioner and chief executive of Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care System, undertaken by Dr Claire Fuller, Chief Executive-designate Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care System and GP on integrated primary care, looks at what is working well, why it’s working well and how we can accelerate the implementation of integrated primary care (incorporating the current 4 pillars of general practice, community pharmacy, dentistry and optometry) across systems. Doctors’ leaders welcomed many of the report’s recommendations but emphasised that they could only work if the government resourced primary care practices better and tackled workforce shortages. Read full story (paywalled) Source: BMJ, 27 May 2022
  19. News Article
    In England, only a third of adults – and half of children – now have access to an NHS dentist. As those in pain turn to charity-run clinics for help, can anything stop the rot? It is over an hour before the emergency dental clinic is due to open, but Jodie Manning is taking no chances. She hasn’t been able to eat for four days – “I can’t physically bite down any more” – and is determined to get an appointment. Aged 19, she has been to hospital with severe toothache “three-and-a-half times” in the previous year. The half is when they sent her home without treatment; on the other occasions, she was kept in overnight after collapsing from pain and dehydration, when even drinking liquids hurt her swollen mouth. Morphine has become her crutch: she fell asleep in college recently after taking the powerful painkiller. Like many of those waiting grimly in line, she has been struck off by her NHS dentist after not attending for two years, even though surgeries were shut to all but emergency cases during Covid. The same desperation can be seen across England, particularly in the north and east. Only a third of adults – and less than half of English children – now have access to an NHS dentist, according to the Association of Dental Groups (ADG). At the same time, three million people suffer from oral pain and two million have undertaken a round trip of 40 miles for treatment, the ADG calculated recently, calling dentistry “the forgotten healthcare service”. Tooth extraction is now the most common reason for a child to be admitted to hospital, costing the NHS £50m a year. The decline of NHS dentistry has deep roots. Years of underfunding and the current government contract, blamed for problems with burnout, recruitment and retention. Dentists are paid a flat fee for services regardless of how long a treatment takes (they get the same amount if they extract one tooth or five, for example). Covid exacerbated existing challenges, with the airborne disease posing a health risk for dentists peering into strangers’ mouths all day. As the British Dental Association put it in its most recent briefing: “NHS dentistry is facing an existential threat and patients face a growing crisis in access, with the service hanging by a thread.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 24 May 2022
  20. News Article
    People in England are struggling to get dental treatment, as dentists close to new NHS patients, a watchdog says. Healthwatch England, the NHS body representing patients, said the problem was made worse by the rising cost of living and needed "urgent attention". It said some people were living in pain, unable to speak or eat properly, because they could not find treatment. And it warned the poorest were suffering most as they were least able to afford to pay for private dentistry. Healthwatch England said the issue was creating a two-tier system - dividing the rich and the poor - and called on the government to take action. "There is now a deepening crisis," said Louise Ansari, of Healthwatch England. "With millions of households bearing the brunt of the escalating living costs, private treatment is simply not an option - and even NHS charges can be a challenge. "This needs urgent attention." Read full story Source: BBC News, 9 May 2022
  21. News Article
    A school has brought in a dental charity to treat pupils with such bad toothache they have missed lessons. Staff at Trinity Academy Grammar in West Yorkshire have had to take pupils to hospital as they were in agony but unable to access an NHS dentist. The Department for Health said an extra £50m funding had been given to NHS dental services for more appointments. Charlie Johnson, headteacher of the school in Sowerby Bridge, near Halifax, said as well as being forced to take days off, some students had been left in tears during lessons due to toothache. After becoming concerned, Mr Johnson said he had contacted public health officials who said there was a shortage of local NHS dentists taking on patients. The school was put in touch with Dentaid, a UK charity which normally provided dental treatment to people in developing countries who cannot access it, or to vulnerable people such as the homeless. As a result, a mobile clinic was brought to the school and volunteer dentists found around one in 10 of its 900 pupils needed treatment for conditions such as decay, cracked teeth and abscesses. The school said it was "frustrating" it had been forced to step in to provide dental treatment, but added that parents often found it "impossible" to access help. The British Dental Association said the fact that Trinity Academy had been forced to call on a charity for help illustrated that NHS dentistry was on its "last legs". Chairman Eddie Crouch said: "We salute these volunteers, but this isn't the Victorian era. "A wealthy 21st Century nation shouldn't be relying on charities to provide basic healthcare to our children." Read full story Source: BBC News, 28 April 2022
  22. News Article
    A Wisconsin dentist was found guilty of healthcare fraud and other charges after he intentionally damaged his patients’ teeth to boost profits, raking in millions from his scheme. Scott Charmoli, 61, was convicted of five counts of healthcare fraud and two counts of making false claims about his clients’ treatment last Thursday, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. With his sentencing scheduled for June, Charmoli faces up to 10 years for each healthcare fraud charge and a maximum of five years for each of the two other charges. Prosecutors say that Charmoli had routinely drilled or broken his clients’ teeth on purpose, charging them for additional treatment services to fix the damage he had just done. As a result, Charmoli’s profits ballooned, with the dentist going from making $1.4m and installing 434 crowns in 2014 to $2.5m in 2015, installing over 1,000 crowns, reported the Washington Post. According to prosecutors, in 2015, Charmoli began pressuring his clients into getting unnecessary crowns, a dental procedure where a tooth-shaped cap is placed on a damaged tooth. Charmoli would drill or break his client’s teeth and send X-rays of the intentional damage to insurance as “before” photos to justify the crown procedures. One client, Todd Tedeschi, testified that Charmoli pressured him into getting two crowns in one appointment, despite Tedeschi believing that his teeth were fine. “It seemed excessive, but I didn’t know any better,” said Tedeschi. “He was the professional. I just trusted him.” Some of the patients that Charmoli badgered into unnecessary procedures were also vulnerable, said prosecutors. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 16 March 2022
  23. News Article
    Dental patients are still suffering from the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, as parts of England are left with only one NHS dentist for thousands of people. In North Lincolnshire, there were just 54 NHS dentists – equivalent to one for every 3,199 people – at the end of March, NHS Digital figures show. This means every NHS dentist in the area would have to work nine-hour days every working day of the year without holidays for each resident to receive one annual checkup on the NHS. Across England, 24,272 dentists treated some NHS patients in the year to 31 March – up 2.3% from the previous year, broadly in keeping with the general population increase in the same period, but lower than pre-pandemic figures for the three previous years. The chair of the British Dental Association, Eddie Crouch, said the service was “on its last legs” and the figures underlined the need for radical and urgent change. “The government will be fooling itself and millions of patients if it attempts to put a gloss on these figures,” said Crouch. “NHS dentistry is light years away from where it needs to be. Unless ministers step up and deliver much-needed reform and decent funding, this will remain the new normal.” Read full story Source: The Guardian (25 August 2022)
  24. News Article
    Dentists in the UK should be encouraged to give antibiotics to patients at high risk of life-threatening heart infection before invasive procedures, a study has found. Research suggests bacteria from the mouth entering the bloodstream during dental treatment could explain 30% to 40% of infective endocarditis cases. The rare but life-threatening condition occurs when the inner lining of the heart chambers and valves become infected. Antibiotics could limit the number of cases and reduce the risk of heart failure, stroke and premature death in high-risk patients, the study says. Current guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) advise against the routine use of antibiotics before invasive dental procedures for those at risk of infective endocarditis. “Ours is the largest study to show a significant association between invasive dental procedures and infective endocarditis, particularly for extraction and surgical procedures,” said Prof Martin Thornhill from the University of Sheffield, who led the study. Nice should review its guidelines advising against antibiotic prophylaxis, the researchers said. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 19 August 2022
  25. News Article
    Nine in 10 NHS dental practices across the UK are not accepting new adult patients for treatment under the health service, a BBC investigation has found. BBC's research shows no dentists taking on adult NHS patients could be found in a third of the UK's top-tier councils. And eight in 10 NHS practices are not taking on children. The Department of Health said it had made an extra £50m available "to help bust the Covid backlogs" and that improving NHS access was a priority. BBC News contacted nearly 7,000 NHS practices - believed to be almost all those offering general treatment to the public. The British Dental Association (BDA) called it "the most comprehensive and granular assessment of patient access in the history of the service". While NHS dental treatment is not free for most adults, it is subsidised. The BBC heard from people across the UK who could not afford private fees and said the subsidised rates were crucial to getting care. The lack of NHS appointments has led people to drive hundreds of miles in search of treatment, pull out their own teeth without anaesthesia, resort to making their own improvised dentures and restrict their long-term diets to little more than soup. Read full story Source: BBC News, 8 August 2022
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