Too many patients going to their GP with dental problems says new research

Too many patients going to their GP with dental problems says new research

Research reported in the British Journal of General Practice found that GPs see 380,000 patients a year with dental problems, with the result that pressure is “piled on overstretched GPs who are simply unequipped to help”. In response the BDA has urged ministers to to end the “hostile environment” to having access to a dentist in the UK.

The sudy concludes: “There are several reasons why patients may consult a GP with a dental problem. Effective interventions will need to break down the barriers preventing access to dental care. Accessible public-facing information on where to seek care for dental problems is required, and general practice teams should be able to signpost patients who present with dental problems, if appropriate. Dental providers should also be encouraged to maintain timely access to urgent care for their patients.”

The BDA’s Chair of General Dental Practice, Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, said:  “Dental patients face growing barriers, from higher charges to longer journeys, where even those entitled to free care face the ever-present threat of fines for misclaiming. The result is millions are being wasted, and pressure piled on overstretched GPs who are simply unequipped to help. Ministers need to end the hostile environment many patients face, and ensure all those who need our care can access it.”

Reference: British Journal of General Practice, Patients’ reasons for consulting a GP when experiencing a dental problem: a qualitative study, October 2018

See at: https://bjgp.org/content/early/2018/10/22/bjgp18X699749

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