Letter: A disaster for dentists and a pain for their patients

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The Independent Online
Sir: The dispute between the Government and the dental profession highlights yet another threat to the NHS. Dentists are expected to do a health check in about four minutes, a filling in seven minutes and a crown in 30.

To put even more pressure on these times by imposing a 7 per cent cut in the fee scale forces the profession to make a difficult choice. Either we have to make a stand and state that we cannot maintain the quality of care that is the right of our patients and 'opt out' into offering a private scheme, or we accept the changes, with the long-term consequences of pressure on standards, new equipment and on pay for our dental nurses and technicians.

This is a sad state of affairs for the future of dental health of this nation. If the Government does not see sense, we can foresee a return to the bad old days when loss of teeth and full dentures were the norm and children suffered the trauma of multiple extractions.

Yours faithfully,


Walsall, West Midlands