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Number of people seen by an NHS dentist nearing 30 million

Bigger percentage of adult population seen but slight fall for children

*HSCIC must be quoted as the source of these figures

*Regional figures are available

A rising number of adult and child patients see an NHS dentist, but only the North of England has recorded an increase in the percentage of the child population seen compared to eight years ago, new figures show.

Just over 29.9 million adult and child patients in England saw an NHS dentist in the 24 months to June 2014, according to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

This is 1.8 million (6.3 per cent) more than in the 24 months to March 2006, when this reporting series began, and equates to 55.9 per cent of the population being seen in the 24 months to June 2014 (compared to 55.6 per cent in the 24 months to March 2006).

However while the total number and percentage of adults seen by June 2014 is higher than in 2006, the percentage of the child population seen has fallen by almost one percentage point.

NHS Dental Statistics for England: 2013/14, which provides information about patients seen by dentists and NHS dental activity in England, shows that compared to the 24 months to March 2006, in the 24 months to June 2014:

  • 22.0 million adults had been seen - or 52.3 per cent of the adult population - compared to 20.3 million at March 2006 - or 51.5 per cent.
  • 7.9 million children had been seen - or 69.2 per cent of the child population - compared to 7.8 million at March 2006 - or 70.2 per cent.

Considering the four NHS regions in England in the 24 months to June 2014:

  • The total number of adults seen rose in all regions compared to the 24 months to March 2006, but only two - the North and the South - saw a rise in the percentage of the population seen (with falls in the London and Midlands and East regions).
  • The biggest percentage of the adult population seen was in the North at 57.6 per cent (6.9 million seen in total) - a rise of 1.1 percentage points (420,000) on 2006. The lowest was in London at 46.6 per cent (3.0 million seen in total) - a fall of 1.8 percentage points on 2006.
  • The total number of children seen rose in two regions - the North and London - compared to the 24 months to March 2006, but only the North saw a rise in the percentage of the population seen - of 3.1 percentage points (73,000).
  • The North also accounted for the biggest percentage of the child population seen at 74.0 per cent (2.4 million children seen in total). The lowest was in London at 63.0 per cent (1.2 million seen in total) - a fall of 0.8 percentage points on 2006.

HSCIC chair Kingsley Manning said: "Today's report shows one impact of a growing population on NHS dentistry. While more and more people are taking a turn in the dentist's chair, the proportion of the population seen is increasing slightly for adults but dipping slightly for children compared to eight years ago.

"Both the national and regional picture will be of interest to the public but also provides a basis for further exploration for health professionals. The report also highlights dental workforce statistics, which show an 18 per cent rise in the number of dentists performing NHS activity since 2006/07, will help to build a fuller picture of the state of NHS dentistry in England."

pdf icon Patients seen by an NHS dentist in the previous 24 months, March 2006 to June 2014 [139kb]

View the full report at: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/pubs/dental1314

ENDS


Notes to editors

1. The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) was established on April 1 2013 as an Executive Non Departmental Public Body (ENDPB). It is England's trusted data source, delivering high quality information and IT systems to drive better patient services, care and outcomes. Its work includes publishing more than 220 statistical publications annually; providing a range of specialist data services; managing informatics projects and programmes and developing and assuring national systems against appropriate contractual, clinical safety and information standards.

2. For this press release - percentages have been rounded to one decimal place. Numbers above one million have been rounded to the nearest 100,000. Numbers below one million have been rounded to the nearest thousand. Full figures are available in the full report.

3. A child is classed as a person under the age of 18.

4. The four NHS regions in England are; North, South, London and Midlands and East.

5. For media enquires please call 0300 303 3888 or email: media.enquiries@hscic.gov.uk 

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