Better access to NHS dental services under new reforms
Tuesday, 19 July 2022
Patients across the country will benefit from improved access to dental care under changes announced by NHS England today.
New reforms to the dental contract - the first in 16 years - mean NHS dentists will be paid more for treating more complex cases, such as people who need three fillings or more.
Dental therapists will also be able to accept patients for NHS treatments, providing fillings, sealants, preventative care for adults and children, which will free up dentists’ time for urgent and complex cases.
To make services more accessible for people, dentists must update the NHS website and directory of services so patients can easily find the availability of dentists in their local area.
High-performing dental practices will have the opportunity to increase their activity by a further 10% and to see as many patients as possible.
In March last year, the Government asked NHS England to lead on the next stage of dental system reform to deliver better outcomes for patients and better support dentists.
The new reforms will ensure that dentists, who are operating at full capacity for the first time in two years, will be able to recover dental services following the impact of the pandemic.
Chief Dental Officer for England Sara Hurley said: “The NHS is determined to overhaul dental provision, with a focus on increasing access to necessary dental care and supporting prevention. Today’s reforms are the first step on that journey.
“NHS dental staff are working hard to recover services, but the key to delivering this will be reform – these changes announced today will help teams carry out even more treatments and help address the inevitable backlogs that have built up during the pandemic.
“Anyone with concerns about their dental health should contact their local dentist as they usually would or seek advice from NHS 111.”