Claire Stevens highlights continuing scandal of child tooth extractions

BDA conference highlights continuing scandal of child tooth extractions

Speaking at the BDA conference, Claire Stevens, a Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry and Vice-President of the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry, urged her audience to support BSPD’s campaign to make Dental Check by One DCBy1 the norm for all children in the UK. Only 19% of children under 2 saw a dentist in the last year, she said.

Claire asked her audience of around 1000 delegates, many of them young dentists, to try and see four additional children under two in the coming year. If all the 22,000 dentists with a contract saw four more under twos, then together they could bring down the number of general anaesthetics for dental extractions. “This is my rallying cry, asking you to join me in making the Dental Check by One a reality. Please think how you can make a difference. We need to be innovative and we all need to be working together.”

Collaborative working is very much on BSPD’s agenda, Claire told her audience, and she went on to describe the work being undertaken in Manchester where she is Chair of the Managed Clinical Network (MCN) for paediatric dentistry. Local GDPs had taken the lead, she said, in trying to create a network so that all children could get dental care.  Not all dentists wanted to treat children, she said, and she understood this, but she recommended that parents should be signposted to practices where families are welcome.

Most children’s dentistry is carried out in general practice, she said, and it was important that everyone treating children carried out the same evidence-based treatments. The use of Hall crowns for the treatment of decayed primary teeth was advocated by Claire. The Hall crown technique was developed by a GDP in Scotland and research had shown it was a superior approach to managing decay compared to conventional restorations and was well tolerated by patients because local anaesthetics weren’t usually needed.

On the radio

Following the BDA Conference, BBC radio news highlighted the fact that tooth decay is the number one reason why children aged five and under are admitted to hospital. The issue was also covered on BBC Breakfast TV, including an interview with BDA spokesperson, Professor Chris Deery, a consultant in paediatric dentistry and Dean of the School of Clinical Dentistry in Sheffield.

In addition, 5 Live news bulletins covered a motion passed by delegates at the BDA’s accredited representatives’ conference in Manchester last week condemning the fact that children in the north west were having to waiting for up to a year to have teeth extracted under general anaesthetic.

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