Could Covid See the End of 6-month Dental Check-ups?

A leading dentist has warned that due to the backlog of patients waiting for check-ups due to the pandemic, we may never return to six-monthly check-up appointments.

Prior to Covid-19, just over 2.3 million dental treatments were completed each year by NHS Wales dentists, however, the latest figures show that 544,755 courses were completed in 2020-21, a reduction of 76.7%.

Even more concerning figures were recorded in respect of children’s dental examinations, with less than 3,500 being recorded in 2020-21, a drop of 99.4% from the previous year.

Dr Gidney, chairman of the Welsh General Dental Practice Committee said that his practice alone had seen a reduction of around 70% of appointments per day, with around 6,000 of his patients having not been given a routine check-up in the past year because of Covid restrictions as well as the need to prioritise urgent treatments.

“Even if we went back to where we were normally it will take a long time to catch up and the reality is normal is not on the horizon yet.”

The Welsh government has pledged a further £3 million this year to support pandemic recovery. Eluned Morgan, Wales’ Health Minister told a recent interview that there had been “ long-standing issues” with patient access to dentistry due to recruitment and retention of dental staff.

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Carrie Plummer - Editor & Content Manager


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