With thousands of British children being admitted into National Health Services (NHS) hospitals every year to treat tooth decay, a British-based company is imploring dental practices to look at how they promote and encourage regular check-ups.
Recent figures reveal that one third of five year olds suffer from tooth decay, and that rotten teeth are the main cause of hospital trips for children under the age of nine. Operations are being conducted during weekends and evenings to cope with the 46,500 children being admitted to the hospital each year to have teeth removed. While NHS dentistry is free for children, removing teeth of children under the age of 18 cost NHS hospitals £30 million between 2012 and 2013.
CFH Docmail Ltd., a provider of mailing services to the medical and health services sector, is now urging more dental practices to consider how they address a serious health issue for children that is 90 percent preventable with proper oral care and regular check-ups. CFH Docmail Ltd. works with over 3,000 medical and healthcare providers to provide an easy, efficient and cost-effective mailing solution, which includes sending vital appointment reminders to patients.
“Increasing numbers of patients are ignoring their free dental check-ups and tooth decay is on the rise," said Dave Broadway, MD at CFH Docmail Ltd. "Ultimately this is a highly preventable problem in children and it’s time parents and dental practices start looking at prevention, with regular appointment reminders, rather than a very costly cure."
Despite the alarming number of incidences of tooth decay, dental care in Britain has improved. In 2012, two thirds of 12-year-old children were found to be free of visible dental decay. This number was up significantly from 1973, when fewer than one in 10 children did not show signs of decay. The UK's decay and replacement rates actually dropped below the USA's in the mid-1990s; in 2008, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that the average number of missing or filled teeth in British 12-year-olds was .7, while children in the USA had an average of 1.3 missing or filled teeth.
Tooth loss rates are also declining; in 1978, 37% of adults in Wales had no natural teeth. Today, only 6% of adults in the UK lack all of their natural dentition. However, with one in three five year olds suffering from tooth decay, there is still much dental education needed.
This article was taken from an original CFH Docmail Ltd. press release, with additional reporting by Laura Dorr.