According to data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre, the total number of younger children requiring dental treatment has increased significantly since 2011. Overall, there have been 128,558 cases of children aged 10 and under needing one or more teeth out for the past 5 years.
The data showed that there were 14,445 cases of children aged five or less from April 1, 2014, to March 31, 2015, in the country. The report also showed that there were another 19,336 cases for those aged six to ten years during the period.
Overall, the data claimed that there has been a rise of almost 10% in child hospital admissions for severe tooth decay in England over a four-year period. 33,781 children suffered from teeth decay during 2014-2015, much more compared to 32,741 cases in 2013-2014, 31,275 in 2012-2013 and 30,761 in 2011-2012.
“Not only is tooth decay distressing to children and parents, it has serious social and financial implications. The need for tooth extraction continues to be the number one reason why five to nine-year-old children are admitted to hospital” Professor Nigel Hunt, Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons, said.
Professor Hunt added that this issue needs to be urgently addressed, especially since 90% of tooth decay is preventable. He said better oral health education was needed but that was only part of the answer.
Answers to the problem
The professor called for more Government and dental professionals action, saying they should work together to raise awareness of the impact of sugar on teeth and improve children’s access to NHS dental services.
On the other side, according to the government, Access to NHS dentists is improving, with 30 million patients seen by a dentist in the two years leading up to September 2015, an increase of 100,000 on the previous year.