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Call to action on caries in children

BDJ Team volume 1, Article number: 14072 (2014) | Download Citation

Following the broadcast of ‘The Dentists’, a behind-the-scenes documentary filmed by ITV at the University Dental Hospital of Manchester, the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry (BSPD) wants to make it easier for children with caries to get early access to a paediatric dentist.

BSPD representatives want to engage with the Department of Health and colleagues in the dental as well as health and social care professions in order to come up with a co-ordinated approach to tackling the issue of caries in children.

The Dentists showed the operations and procedures provided at the University Dental Hospital of Manchester, including two general anaesthetics on children undergoing multiple extractions and interviews with their parents.

Claire Stevens, a Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry at the University Dental Hospital of Manchester, and spokeswoman for BSPD, said: ‘If these children had seen a paediatric dentist earlier, it might have been possible to save their teeth, instead of removing them and potentially triggering dental anxieties for life.’

The BSPD is concerned because some Community Dental Services are cutting back on paediatric dentists. The society is grateful to ITV for highlighting the challenges hospital dental teams face as well as the work of specialist paediatric dentists and their teams. What the programme did not show was the follow-up preventive advice to parents to get those child patients on the road to dental health and visiting a dentist.

Dr Stevens said: ‘It should be borne in mind that some children are inherently more susceptible to dental decay than others. A number of our patients end up in hospital because of a hereditary or medical condition and not because their parents are at fault.’

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