The Collapse Of NHS Dentistry

Giger’s alien 3 monster drawing but with shiny nice teeth

The suffering is horrific. NHS dentistry, community physio, podiatry, are effectively gone now. What’s left is hard to access and limited in what they offer. NHS dentistry has become an emergency antibiotic and extraction service (after weeks or longer). Patients are often pushed into paying privately.

There’s a link between oral health and cardiac health, right up to sepsis. The cost of not having access to routine dental care (fillings, crowns, root canal) is high. Patients are in serious debt for emergency treatment, root canal & crowns. NHS dentists don’t always refer patients on for gum disease treatment and let it progress to extraction and dentures.

In the US it’s said you can tell poverty by looking at people’s mouths, the same will be true here. I will never forget a film I watched a few years ago of Americans queuing up all night (including wheelchair users) outside a warehouse for free medical treatment and dentistry.

No privacy, exam chairs, beds all set out. People shaking violently having entire mouth tooth extractions under local anaesthetic.

There’s also no appreciation of the impact of antidepressant and antipsychotic medications on dental health which can cause dry mouth increasing the risk of decay, but mental health services nor NHS dentists inform patients of products to help with this. Acute patients might have periods of sugar laden liquid meds.

Dentistry should not be a luxury.