The British Dental Association (BDA) has criticised today’s decision by Government to increase dental charges in England by 5% in 2016, with an unprecedented further 5% increase announced for 2017.
There are no significant rises in other NHS charges, including prescriptions.
Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, Chair of the BDA’s General Dental Practice Committee, said:
“This unprecedented hike in dental charges will only serve to discourage the patients that are most in need of care.
“This money doesn’t go to NHS dentists – they are being asked to play the role of tax collector, while our patients are singled out to subsidise the health service. We can’t tell them how this extra money will be spent, and whether a penny of it will actually end up improving dental care or access to dental services.
“For government these increases may be a source of easy money, but they will only undermine the relationship between patients and practitioners.
“These charges were first introduced in 1951 to limit demand for NHS dentistry, and that’s precisely what they do best. Government has given patients another reason to avoid visiting their dentist.”