According to a new survey by dental insurer HSA, the UK public has little faith in the future of NHS dental care.
Just over half believe it is only a matter of time before NHS dentistry disappears altogether. Two in three believe that the state of oral health in the UK will deteriorate in the future. These concerns have been revealed by a questionnaire into the views of over 1,000 consumers on the state of UK dentistry today.
Stuart Mahoney, for HSA says: “It is worrying that the changes made last year to improve NHS dentistry have not instilled faith in the UK public that their dental needs will be efficiently cared for. What is more alarming is that only 36% of people believe the government consider NHS dentistry to be important. This perhaps explains why so many people are no longer regularly visiting an NHS dentist, with 1 in 5 of people not visiting a dentist at all, and a further 1 in 5 accessing a private dentist.”
The HSA also reveals:
- 37% find the new system more expensive, 23% find the system less accessible and 19% think it is more confusing
- 22% are visiting a private dentist because they could not find an NHS dentist in their area
- 24% believe a slimmed down NHS service will exist in the future but with limited access
- 58% are not aware of the changes made to NHS contracts and fee structure on 1 April 2006
- 61% think that looking after your oral health is still affordable
Starting from just £7 a month, the HSA Dental Plan offers money back, up to an annual limit on dental maintenance, treatment and emergency cover. The plan has 3 premium levels, suitable for NHS or private access, to help individuals and families manage the cost of dental care.