Dentistry Inequalities Still Apparent In Wales

April 13th, 2011
Dentistry Inequalities Still Apparent In Wales

Welsh dentists have asked the Government to improve access to dental services in Wales. They believe there is still too much inequality in the poorest areas of the country.

The news comes from the Welsh section of the British Dental Association (BDA) which feels the gap is getting wider between the richest areas and the poorest areas. Dentists also suggest that a growing aging population is having an adverse effect.

Welsh dentists have decided to come out about the problem after a recent report said that standards of oral health were well below those for both England and Northern Ireland. As such, they want the Welsh Assembly to do more.

Improvement may well take place in any event as the Welsh Assembly no longer has to wait for any new laws to be passed by the Westminster Parliament. A recent referendum gave Welsh AMs the power to pass its own laws, which should speed a lot of things up in the principality, including health reform.

The Director for the Welsh BDA told reporters there was a clear link between oral health and how well off a person was. Consequently, a more level playing field was needed if Wales was to improve access to dental health care for low income families.

With that in mind, the BDA has produced a manifesto which includes proposals to increase the number of dentists available. It says that 50% of the dentists currently practicing, who are over the age of 50, have stated they are planning to retire in the next few years. This could have devastating consequences for dental provision. Therefore more needs to be done in many areas of dental and oral health in Wales.

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