Dental treatments below pre-pandemic levels

Dental treatments are lagging behind pre-pandemic levels.

New digital data from the NHS shows the number of treatment courses is still significantly below pre-crisis levels – with 117,517 courses delivered in the region in the year to March.

This was well above the 74,937 treatments given in 2020-2021, but still 34% below the pre-pandemic figure of 259,578.

Different figures show that in the two years to June, 109,896 adults visited an NHS dentist in Northumberland, representing 41% of the population over 18.

The data also shows that 29,234 children (50%) were seen by NHS dentists between July 2021 and June this year, up from 64% in 2018-19.

Nationally, dentists carried out 26.4 million treatments in 2021-22, although the British Dental Association (BDA) said this was only two-thirds of the average volumes delivered each year over the past five years. years before the pandemic.

Eddie Crouch, chairman of the BDA, said: “What we are seeing is not a recovery, but a serve on its last legs.

“NHS dentistry is light years away from what it needs to be. Unless ministers step in and deliver much-needed reform and decent funding, this will remain the new normal.”

The data comes after a BDA found that 91% of NHS practices are not accepting new adult patients.

An NHS spokesperson said: ‘Data shows dental services are recovering from the pandemic, with more than 26 million patient treatments delivered last year, a 120 per cent increase on the year former.

“We recently announced the first significant changes to dentistry since 2006, helping practices improve access for the patients who need dental care the most.”