Children's teeth checked at school in Rishi Sunak's NHS dentistry plan

Children would get their teeth checked at school as part of Rishi Sunak’s plan to restore NHS dentistry

  • Tory leadership hopeful announced a five-point plan he would enact ‘on day one’
  • Plans include ring-fencing funding, changing contracts and ‘upskilling’ teams 
  • Mr Sunak, a GP’s son, also pledged to improve education about oral hygiene 
  • Nine in 10 practices not accepting new NHS patients amid mounting pressures

Children could get dental check-ups at primary schools under Rishi Sunak’s plans to improve the nation’s teeth. 

The Tory leadership hopeful has pledged to launch a pilot scheme so under-11s can see a dentist in the classroom.

The ex-chancellor’s vow is part of a five-point plan he says he would enact ‘on day one’ as Prime Minister to ‘restore NHS dentistry’. 

Conservative leadership candidate Rishi Sunak, the son of a GP and pharmacist, said he wants to ‘restore’ NHS dentistry

His proposals include ring-fencing dentistry funding, changing contracts to keep NHS dentists in the health service and ‘upskilling’ dental teams. 

He has also pledged to improve education for children and their parents about oral hygiene.

Mr Sunak, the son of a GP and pharmacist, said: ‘NHS dentistry is under unprecedented pressure with people unable to get the treatment they need, leaving them in pain or forced to fork out thousands for private care.

‘My five point plan will be activated on day one to free up dentistry professionals to do their jobs, encourage NHS trained dentists to stay in the NHS, and focus on prevention as that is always better than the cure.

‘As Prime Minister, I’ll be focused on getting the British people more bang for our buck from our NHS.’

Nine in 10 dental practices are not accepting new NHS patients, with eight out of 10 not accepting new children either, according to a recent BBC investigation.

 NHS dentists are under ‘unprecedented pressure’ with nine in 10 practices not accepting new patients, according to research by the BBC

The British Dental Association says 3,000 dentists have moved away from NHS dentistry work entirely since the start of the pandemic.

And a report this week found that untreated tooth decay is prevalent in primary school aged children – yet half of children in England cannot access an NHS dentist.

Research by oral health charity the Dental Wellness Trust found that 38 per cent of children in England had active untreated tooth decay in their primary teeth.

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