Andrew Gwynne, the Labour candidate for Denton and Reddish, has welcomed the announcement of Labour’s policy of free dental check-ups for all.
Scrapping band one dentistry charges will give everyone a free teeth MOT with their dentist, including checks for oral cancers, while also taking pressure off GPs and hospitals.
Charges can put people off from going to their dentist, and actively undermines prevention – nearly 1 in 5 patients delay going to the dentist because they can’t afford to see one.
There are many reports of people resorting to so called ‘DIY dentistry’, buying cheap kits off of the internet, including scalers and Temparin Max for makeshift fillings and procedures, often resulting in huge complications.
The current system is also putting pressure on the wider NHS. Around 380,000 patients with toothache are choosing to head to their GPs who cannot provide dental treatment, costing the NHS over £20 million a year. Around 135,000 patients per year are also estimated to attend A&E units with dental problems, at a cost of £18 million.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“Far too many people end up in hospital as a result of preventable dental problems, often because they can’t afford to see a dentist.
“Free dental check-ups are an important step towards truly universally free health service.
“Dental check-ups can spot the early signs of all sorts of problems, including oral cancers. They should be available to all, not just those who can afford them.”