NHS dental statistics published yesterday show there were around 6,000 fewer visits to the dentist than in the two years leading up to March 2013 compared with the two years prior to March 2006.
When did you last visit the dentist?
The fall in numbers has been partly blamed on the cost of dental work, but health experts warn of the risks of putting off treatment.
A spokesman for NHS England, which is now responsible for commissioning NHS dental health services in Essex, confirmed that not all commissioned NHS dentistry is taken up.
“This may be due to patients choosing to receive their dental care through non-NHS providers or patients choosing not to consult their dentist as frequently,” he added.
However, a dental technician from Colchester, who asked not to be named, said although dental check-ups are free for children up to the age of 18, the rising cost of dental care was a factor in keeping adult patients away.best cosmetic dentist london
She said: “Dental care has got a lot more expensive and people on low incomes can’t afford it. A lot of people only visit a dentist when they have a toothache. We recently went through our records to recall people who hadn’t been to see us in the past two years and we pulled up over 1,000 names.”affordable dental implants london
The technician said the NHS dental banding system had made things more expensive for patients. She said at her surgery a standard charge for a check-up was £18 while band two treatments, which incorporate a check-up plus other work such as fillings and extractions costs £49. Work on crowns, bridges and dentures falls in to the band three category and are charged at £214…read more