To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the recommended period is after which patients should be recalled for a dental check-up for (a) people under 18 and (b) people over 18; and what proportion of the population attended such a check-up on time in (i) England, (ii) each NHS region and (iii) each strategic health authority in each of the last six years. 
While it is accepted that oral examinations at appropriate intervals are of value in maintaining oral health, there is little direct evidence to support a specific interval or to quantify the benefit. There is, therefore, a requirement for the practitioner to undertake a needs assessment exercise for each individual patient. Individual recall intervals result from a balanced consideration of the risks to maintaining oral health. General dental services remuneration arrangements do not normally permit payment for a recall examination where the same dentist received an examination fee in the previous five complete calendar months.The National Institute for Clinical Excellence has been asked to prepare guidance for the national health service in England and Wales, on the clinical and cost effectiveness of a dental recall examination for all patients at an interval based on the risk from oral disease.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the need for a new school of dentistry in the UK. 
[holding answer 9 June 2003]: We are undertaking the first dental work force review since 1987, in consultation with the dental profession. We hope to publish a report later this year, together with work force planning assumptions for national health service work force development confederations and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. This will include any expansion in facilities for training for dental undergraduates if considered necessary by the review.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the progress of the Dental Workforce Review. 
We plan to publish a review of the primary care dental workforce for England later this year, which will inform workforce planning assumptions of the national health service workforce development confederations and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. This review is being undertaken in consultation with the dental profession. We will also ensure the review is regularly updated, to take account of our programme for the modernisation of NHS dentistry.