Lord Howe has said dental practices trialling a new payment scheme, which focuses on prevention, are at the forefront of a ‘seismic shift’ in dentistry.
Lord Howe also stated that more than 60 dental practices around the country ‘will be paid for keeping teeth healthy, rather than for treating problems as they arise’.
Health minister, Lord Howe, visited Woodford Dental Care in Essex, one of those trialling the scheme, and spoke to staff about their practice.
‘The oral health of the nation has been improving year on year, with some of the lowest tooth decay rates in the world and ever more people accessing an NHS dentist,’ Lord Howe said.
‘This is the next step in a seismic shift in dental care to a more preventative approach and paying dentists for supporting good dental health rather than just the number of procedures they undertake.’
Staff showcased the software they use to help patients through their care pathway and manage their oral health, which they described as invaluable in making the pilots work.
Lord Howe said the new prototypes he announced are based on evidence from almost three years of piloting a preventative approach to dentistry.
He added the new payment scheme aims to reflect the number of patients dentists see, the treatments delivered and the quality of the treatment provided.
Lord Howe believes it will encourage dentists to focus on prevention as well as delivering any necessary treatment.
‘I am very pleased to have the opportunity to be a prototype in the move toward models of preventative care, an approach we have fully embraced from the outset,’ owner of Woodford Dental Care, Mr Len D’Cruz, said.
‘Our team has worked hard to make the pilot scheme work and will continue to help establish a system that is financially sustainable and ensures the best treatment for patients.’