Dental Treatment


It was with an overwhelming sense of déjà vu; of knowing the non-answer from the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence: Derek Twigg as I read the question (HC Deb (26 February 2007) cc611-612) put to him from Stewart Jackson (Peterborough)(Con) who questioned the government on what they were doing to address the problem of access to free Dental Treatment by the families of Servicemen who, because of their enforced mobility, found NHS access difficult and in some places, impossible.

Answer from the Government?

Our servicemen get first class dental treatment on operations. Families? Oh yes, we are monitoring and talking to the NHS (decoded: “we are doing sod-all as usual! Status quo to be maintained –tough 'Titty' Mrs Atkins and kids, price to be paid for following the Drum!


And since the new contract started in April 2006 even more dentists have given up trying to make the NHS system work. Some of them have had NHS practices for 30+ years and are gutted at having to do this but they have little choice if they want to provide a reasonable standard of care to their patients/make a living.

For those who don't know, the current charges are:

You pay one of the following three charges:

£15.50 - This charge includes an examination, diagnosis and preventive care. If necessary, this includes X-rays, scale and polish, and planning for further treatment.

Urgent and out-of-hours care also costs £15.50.

£42.40 - This charge includes all necessary treatment covered by the £15.50 charge PLUS additional treatment such as fillings, root canal treatment or extractions.

£189 -This charge includes all necessary treatment covered by the £15.50 and £42.40 charges PLUS more complex procedures such as crowns, dentures or bridges.

Now, take the treatment covered by the £15.50 charge. In 2005 the costs were:

examination £5.84
2 xrays £4.00
Simple scale & Polish £9.20
Total £19.04

One root canal on a molar used to cost £62.48. Now for only £42.40 you could get examination, scale & polish, xrays, 2 fillings and a root canal for less than the cost of a root canal the year before.

You may be aware that there have been recent news stories of dentists having filled their 'quota' of NHS treatments before Xmas. The new contract allotted 'X' amount of money for the FY 2006/07 to those who took on the new contract and once that money has been used they can't do any more treatment on the NHS. Now you see why the money ran out before the end of the financial year and why dentists say it is unworkable.

I know this info doesn't help our families but there is a petition on the government site asking them to scrap the current NHS contract. It was started by dentists and so far 1,444 have signed it. If you want to sign it is at:

(Although I don't think this government cares who signs what petitions!)


War Hero
Why can't we use the Dental Centres on Camp - they have spare capacity especially in large Garrison towns.

The DDS treat families abroad so why not at home :evil: