children
New figures have shown children are waiting up to a year to get decayed teeth removed

Children are having to wait up to a year to have their rotten teeth removed according to Professor Nigel Hunt.

Professor Nigel Hunt, dean of the Royal College of Surgeons’ dental faculty, has pointed to the high demand for children to have their teeth removed as the reason for some children having to wait up to a year and has said the situation has reached a ‘crisis point’.

Official figures have shown that hospitals had to run extra operations in the evenings and at weekends to deal with the 46,500 children admitted annually to have teeth removed under general anaesthetic.

‘It is absolutely intolerable that in this day and age, in a civilised country, children are having so many teeth out for decay, which is over 90% preventable,’ Professor Hunt said.

‘We need to stop talking and have action to bring several bodies together – the Royal College of Surgeons, Public Health England, NHS England, the Government and industry to make sure we improve all aspects of oral health.’

Child tooth decay

The BDA has called on the Government to act to address the growing crisis on child tooth decay.

It has called for the Government to adopt a genuinely preventative to dentistry approach, and has pushed for measures including sugar levies, food labelling, and the provision of fluoride varnish to children in deprived areas, which has already delivered huge results in Scotland.

‘Politicians have left “oral health” out of the “health” debate, and our children are paying the price,’ Mick Armstrong, chair of the BDA, said.

‘It’s frankly obscene that we are still seeing children filling up hospital beds for extractions.

‘We can and should address these problems at source, at less cost to the taxpayer, and at less distress to these young patients.

‘So let’s talk food labelling, let’s talk sugar taxes, and yes, let’s talk about fluoride.

‘David Cameron says that “prevention” is the mantra at the heart of this government’s health policy.

‘As long as tooth decay remains the leading cause of hospital admissions those words will be nothing more than empty rhetoric.

‘We urgently require parents, teachers and policymakers to work with the dental profession so we can make this scandal history.’