The British Dental Association has responded to a new report suggesting at least 1.8 million people aged 65 and over across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, could have an urgent dental condition.
The BDA has long advocated a joined-up strategy for care for the over-65s. In 2003 it outlined 21 recommendations to improve the oral healthcare of older adults. To date only seven of these recommendations have been met in full.
BDA Chair Mick Armstrong said:
"Senior citizens, whether they are resident in care homes, or living at home independently or with support, all face significant barriers to accessing quality dental care.
"The complex and diverse needs of a growing group of vulnerable patients are going unmet. We urgently require a strategy that ensures oral health for the over-65s is no longer treated as an optional extra."