General practitioners filling the gap left by inadequate dental services, says doctor

May 16, 2008

A shortage of NHS dentists means that general practitioners (GPs) have been left to do dentists’ work without adequate remuneration, argues a doctor in a letter in this week’s BMJ.

An increasing number of patients are visiting GP surgeries with what are fundamentally dental problems, writes Alastair Bint from St Luke’s Surgery in Guilford, UK.

Dr Bint recorded a 1600% rise in the number of dental related consultations over the last 10 years in his own practice of over 10 000 registered patients.

Recent reports in the press have highlighted the continuing problem of patients being unable to register with an NHS dentist, or to see to a dentist out of basic working hours.

Despite the Minister of State for Health Services, Ben Bradshaw, advising people who cannot get dental treatment to go to their GP or primary care trust, there is no provision in the NHS contract for GPs to be compensated for dental work, he writes.

“Once again…GPs are left to pick up work that should be performed by other professionals without adequate remuneration”, he concludes.

Source: British Medical Journal

Explore further: AMA: avoiding distress in medical school

Related Stories

The real fear of dental chair revealed

Dec 08, 2010

Nearly one in five women – and one in ten men – will suffer ‘extreme dental anxiety’ before they even sit in the dentist’s chair, according to the biggest adult dental survey for a ...

New 'dentist' test to detect oral cancer will save lives

Aug 09, 2010

A new test for oral cancer, which a dentist could perform by simply using a brush to collect cells from a patient's mouth, is set to be developed by researchers at the University of Sheffield and Sheffield ...

Recommended for you

AMA: avoiding distress in medical school

19 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Understanding the key drivers underlying medical students' distress can help address the issues and enhance student well-being, according to an article published by the American Medical Association.

European court to rule on right-to-die case

May 21, 2015

Europe's human rights court will on June 5 rule on whether a man in a vegetative state can be taken off life support, a case that has ignited a fierce euthanasia debate in France, a spokesman said Thursday.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.