Reflecting on 73 years of NHS dental care

5th July 2021 | Posted by: Vanessa Giraud

On 5th July 1948, the National Health Service began. Today, therefore, is a good day to remember just how much the service has reformed public health and risen to the challenges of ever more sophisticated standards of treatment.
73 years of nhs dental care

73 years of NHS dental care

In a joint letter to NHS dental practitioners, Sara Hurley (Chief Dental Officer for England) and Ed Waller (Director of Primary Care) drew attention to the change NHS dental care has made to people’s oral health.

It is hard to believe that when the NHS began back in 1948, more than 75% of the adult population had no natural teeth!

Improvements in NHS preventive dental care, such as topical fluoride treatment, has led to a welcome reduction in caries. As always, there is still room for improvement as children are still often hospitalised because of dental decay, but increased access to regular dental care, fluoridated water and oral health education has had a significant impact on improved dental health.

Looking forward to improved NHS dental care

SpaDental currently is a group of nine dental practices operating in the west of England. Five of our practices are mixed practices, offering both NHS and private dental care. Our greatest challenge, and a challenge facing all NHS dental practices right now, is recruiting dentists. We are very aware that without dentists available to treat patients, it is the patients who suffer.

While Ms Hurley and Mr Waller celebrate the improvements in dental care over the last 73 years, emphasising the superb work of NHS dental professionals, they are also advocating for further recognition of the importance of NHS dentistry.

We hope their valuable work will attract dentists to work in this sector of care and encourage our government to allocate the financial support so needed for dental practices to continue in a post-pandemic era, so we can provide the level of care the country is asking for.

With thanks to all NHS care providers

We sincerely extend our thanks to everyone in the health sector who has worked to keep us as safe as possible throughout the pandemic. There are so many people in such varied roles, and everyone who gives themselves to this public service plays a vital part in the large and powerful behemoth the NHS has grown into.

Also of interest:

73 years of NHS dental care
NHS National Medical Director Stephen Powis praises the dedication of NHS staff, including the dental profession:

“The coronavirus pandemic, the greatest public health challenge in the history of the NHS, has prompted a record number of nominations from MPs [for parliamentary awards on 7th July]. They have rightly sought to shine a light on the dedication of nurses, midwives, GPs, physios, pharmacists, healthcare assistants, dentists, porters, cleaners, and countless other staff who have contributed to the unprecedented response.”

POSTED IN: NHS dentistry


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