Skip to main content

Dental Services: Children

Volume 485: debated on Tuesday 9 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the relative condition of children's teeth in England in comparison (a) with previous years and (b) with other EU countries for benchmarking purposes. (240543)

There has been a most impressive improvement in children's oral health. National surveys undertaken every 10 years show that between 1973 and 2003 the proportion of children starting school with no experience of tooth decay increased from 30 per cent. to 59 per cent. Over the same period, the proportion of 12-year-old children with decayed missing, or filled (DMFT) permanent teeth has fallen from 93 per cent. to a historic low of 38 per cent. As the following extract from The World Health Organisation Global Database of Oral Health shows, in this age group, the United Kingdom and Germany have the lowest levels of tooth decay.

Europe 2002-06, DMFT for 12-year-olds

Country

Year

DMFT

Austria

2002

1

Cyprus

2005

1.14

Czech Republic

2002

2.5

Denmark

2006

0.8

France

2006

1.2

Germany

2005

0.7

Iceland

2005

1.4

Ireland

2002

1.1

Italy

2004

1.1

Latvia

2004

3.4

Netherlands

2002

0.8

Norway

2004

1.7

Poland

2003

3.2

Sweden

2005

1

Switzerland

2004

0.86

United Kingdom

2004-05

0.7

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) fillings and (b) extractions were carried out on children's teeth in each of the regions in the last year. (240544)

Information is not available in the format requested.

The number of courses of treatment (CoTs) delivered, by patient type (including children) during 2007-08, is available in Table F1 of Annex 3 of the NHS Dental Statistics for England: 2007-08 report. This table includes CoTs that can attract a patient charge only and therefore excludes those CoTs occurring in charge-exempt courses, such as denture repair. Information is provided by strategic health authority (SHA) and by primary care trust (PCT).

This report, published on 21 August 2008, has already been placed in the Library and is also available on the NHS Information Centre website at:

www.ic.nhs.uk/pubs/dental0708

An activity analysis of a sample of child CoTs processed in 2007-08, by treatment band, is available in Table B4 of the ‘Dental Treatment Band Analysis, England and Wales 2007-08’ report. This information is available at a national level only for both England and Wales.

This table includes information on fillings and extractions and presents this as the percentage of CoT that included these items of treatment, the number of items of treatment per 100 CoT and the average number of treatment items per CoT.

This report, published on 21 August 2008, has been placed in the Library and is also available on the NHS Information Centre website at:

www.ic.nhs.uk/pubs/dentaltba0708