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NHS dentists under pressure to treat fewer children

Children don't get enough exercise
The NHS cannot afford to fund children's care and dentists are coming under pressure not to treat them, a dental pressure group has claimed.

According to Challenge, health trusts have been urging dentists to focus on adult patients who have to pay for their dental treatment.

One of the pressure group's founder members, Eddie Crouch, said that children may be turned away "because of undue pressure from primary care trusts to get revenue from dentists".

"This money obviously comes from adult patients who pay for treatment," the Daily Mail reports him as saying.

The pressure group's claims were made at the House of Commons health select committee's inquiry into dental services.

The inquiry was called after figures showed that 250,000 fewer patients visited an NHS dentist in the year after the new dentist's contract was introduced in April 2006, with many patients being forced to seek private treatment or go without seeing a dentist altogether.
Dental News update: 14/02/2008