Over half of young people in the Preston area of Lancashire have experienced tooth decay, suggesting that the government is failing in its provision of dental treatment.
A survey of children in central Lancashire revealed that 55 per cent of five-year-olds in Preston have had tooth decay, falling way short of the government's targets which require 70 per cent of children in that age group to have no experience of decay.
According to the Lancashire Evening Post, dental health consultants Eric Rooney and Mel Catleugh wrote in their report: "Dental caries (decay) is a common, preventable condition which involves the localised destruction of tooth tissue.
"The level and severity of dental caries in children in central Lancashire is, and has remained, persistently high since the mid-1990s."
Many blame the introduction of a controversial new dentists' contract for the ongoing problems with accessibility to NHS dental treatment, as many dentists have chosen to move over to the private sector.
Official figures released last month show that nearly 50,000 fewer people visited an NHS dentist in the year following the contract's introduction, with many seeking private treatment and the remainder forgoing dental treatment altogether, the Daily Mail reported.
What's better? Private or NHS healthcare?