A new dental contract in England has successfully helped to reduce levels of tooth decay in patients, the NHS claims.
The programme incentivises dentists to offer comprehensive oral health assessments and self-care plans on top of traditional treatments.
When piloting the programme, practices said:
- 90% of patients experienced reduced or maintained levels of tooth decay
- 80% of patients had reduced or maintained levels of gum disease
- 97% of patients satisfied with the dental care received.
‘The Government has made great progress in improving the oral health of patients and tooth decay among children continues to decrease – but there is more we can do,’ Health Minister Steve Brine said.
‘Our new proposed NHS dental contract focuses on prevention and quality of care and will be thoroughly tested to ensure it is financially sustainable for the NHS, patients and dentists.’
Expanding the programme
An expanded programme will now recruit up to 50 practices across England to further test benefits to patients.
The new practices are currently being selected and will go live from October 2018 and January 2019.
‘The announcement of up to 50 more prototype practices is an important step in developing the NHS dental service in this its 70th year,’ chief dental officer, Sara Hurley, said.
‘I welcome it and hope that further refinement and testing with the profession will lead us to a model that enables dentists and their teams to play their full part in the delivery of integrated care and further improvement of oral and general health.’
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