A recent report on dental health has shown a stark divide in the state of the Nation’s dental health.
The report carried out by Quality Watch has found that those that live in more deprived areas have a poorer level of dental health than those who reside in more affluent areas, and that income and where you live still affect your dental health. Dental patients that reside in deprived areas are in fact twice as likely to need hospital treatment for dental health issues as those that live in more affluent areas.
But it’s not just dental health that is suffering with a socio-economic divide; there are also indications that the quality of the dental treatment being provided may vary depending on where dental patients live. Research carried out by The Dental Law Partnership solicitors in 2017 showed that patients living in the North West are four times more likely to make a claim for negligent dental treatment than those in the East; and those residing in Blackburn, Lancs for example are 5 times more likely to need to make a negligence claim for poor treatment than the national average.
David Corless-Smith, Managing Director of the Dental Law Partnership and former dentist commented
“The deprived areas of England and Wales are not only struggling to access dental treatment due to economic barriers, but our study suggests that once patients living in those areas actually access dental services, then the quality of the dental treatment that is being provided for them may be falling short of the expected level.
It should not be the case that the affluence of a patient determines the quality of care that they receive, however the results of our research suggest that this may unfortunately the case.”
The Dental Law Partnership study looked at the data relating to more than 1800 successful dental negligence claims which resulted in dentists paying out over £28 million in compensation to injured dental patients.