Bristol University researchers have revealed that the
number of hospital admissions in the UK for dental abscesses has almost doubled
in the last eight years.
The study has sparked concern as there is also an acute shortage
of dentists in the NHS. The study also suggested that much of the problem had
to do with the new contracts that saw dentists take on more private work over a
Consequently the number of dental patients registering on
the NHS fell from 23 million to 17 million from 1994 to 2004.
"Most serious dental infections are preventable with
regular dental care. Indeed, this is the rationale for regular dental
check-ups," said lead researcher Steven Thomas. care. Indeed, this is the
rationale for regular dental check-ups. "Changes in service provision
could, therefore, have resulted in reduced provision of routine dental care and
access to emergency dental care."
The study is
published in the British Medical Journal.