Sir, in relation to your editorial No going back (BDJ 2009; 208: 45), the NHS was dreamt of as being free at the point of delivery and yet over time patient charges have been steadily increasing. Patients now pay a much bigger share of dental fees and this is not NHS dentistry other than in the imagination of Department of Health (DoH). In reality it is actually a very cheap form of private dentistry forced upon the profession by dictatorial bullying. Perhaps I am unduly harsh but I believe that if the politicians were actually interested in the nation's dental wellbeing, they should have purchased essential treatment at reasonable prices. Good quality examination and treatment planning leads its way to appropriate treatment. Most dental professionals would be solidly behind such an honest service.
I see new graduates coming in for job interviews and their first question usually is to enquire about the potential for private practice. The DoH can bring in as many figures as they wish but the reality is as you write 'no going back'. There is a trend away from NHS dentistry which seems to be developing momentum slowly and quietly. I congratulate you for noting this in the way that you have.