NHS patients 'failed' by dental contract

Dental patients in Wales are suffering as a result of the new dental contract introduced in April 2006, a BBC investigation has learnt.

According to one dental technician, NHS dentistry has been set back by 20 years since the new contract.

Howard Rose told BBC Wales' Week In Week Out programme that the volume of his NHS work has been halved since the new contract.

"In my experience what the patient gets from the dentist now has gone backwards, I would say 20 years because whereas we used to do a great volume of crown work, especially single crowns, those teeth now aren't being crowned, they're being extracted," he revealed.

"The contract's not working I believe as it ought to work. I believe it's failing a lot of NHS patients," Mr Rose claimed.

The programme also discovered that some patients have been told to seek private dental treatment if they want to be sure of saving their teeth from extraction, because of the way dentists are paid under the new contract.

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