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Dental Services

Volume 480: debated on Thursday 16 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many dentists per 100,000 residents there were in (a) Chesterfield, (b) Derbyshire and (c) England in each year since 1997. (225899)

The number of dentists with NHS activity per 100,000 population, during the years ending 31 March, 2007 and 2008 is available in Table Gl of Annex 3 of the NHS Dental Statistics for England: 2007-08 report. Information is available by strategic health authority (SHA) and by primary care trust (PCT). Information by constituency is not available. This information is based on the new dental contractual arrangements, introduced on 1 April 2006.

This measure is based on a revised methodology and therefore supersedes previously published workforce figures relating to the new dental contractual arrangements. It is not comparable to the information collected under the old contractual arrangements. The revised methodology counts the number of dental performers with NHS activity recorded via FP17 claim forms in each year ending 31 March. This report has already been placed in the Library and is also on the NHS Information Centre website at:

The number of persons per NHS dentist in England, as at 31 March, 1997 to 2006 is available in Annex F of the NHS Dental Activity and Workforce Report England: 31 March 2006 report. The information is provided by PCT and SHA. Equivalent information by constituency is not available; however the number of NHS dentists by constituency is available in Annex G.

This measure relates to the number of NHS dentists recorded on PCT lists as at 31 March each year. This information is based on the old contractual arrangements, which were in place up to and including 31 March 2006. This report has already been placed in the Library and is also on the NHS Information Centre website at:

The dentist numbers published are headcounts and do not differentiate between full-time and part-time dentists, nor do they account for the fact that some dentists may do more NHS work than others.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will discuss with the Chief Dental Officer the development of a programme to encourage universal regular cleaning of teeth, with the co-operation of relevant manufacturers of oral hygiene products; and if he will make a statement. (226207)

The Department has been collaborating with manufacturers of oral hygiene products on oral health promotion since 2001. Under the Brushing for Life scheme, which was launched in 2001, free packs containing a toothbrush a tube of fluoride toothpaste and a leaflet on oral hygiene are given to families with young children in clinics and Sure Start Children’s Centres. The leaflet is designed to reinforce the advice given by the health or social care professional, who gives the pack to the child’s parent or carer, about the importance of brushing with fluoride toothpaste in the morning and at night. Colgate-Palmolive (UK) Ltd was awarded the contract for the supply of toothpaste in the most recent competitive tendering exercise. The chief dental officer has collaborated with the company on a series of conferences to publicise the Brushing for Life Scheme and, more recently, to promote good practice in incorporating preventive measures in general dental practice. The chief dental officer has regular contact with the other major toothpaste and oral hygiene products manufacturers.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether there is a limit on the number of patients who can be registered with any one NHS dentist. (226268)

How many patients a dentist is able to provide care for is a matter for the individual dentist, taking account of the contracted yearly activity he or she has agreed with their local NHS primary care trust to deliver. Registration is no longer part of the formal national remuneration system.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS dentists have their surgeries on premises shared with private dental hygienists. (227435)

This information is not held centrally. Most dentists are independent contractors, and many practice owners chose to offer both national health service and private treatment. It is for practice owners to decide whether to employ or engage a hygienist as part of their dental team, and whether or not to use them to deliver private or NHS dental treatment.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the NHS dentists' contract requires dentists offering treatment under the NHS to provide dental (a) polishing and (b) cleaning services under the contract. (227437)

The national health service contractual requirement is to provide all proper and necessary dental care and treatment that the patient is willing to undergo. A Band 1 course of treatment (diagnosis, treatment planning and maintenance) includes examination, diagnosis (for example X-rays), advice on how to prevent future problems, and scaling and polishing if clinically needed.