Fewer NHS patients seen as Covid-19 restrictions bite

Fewer NHS patients seen as Covid-19 restrictions bite

NHS Digital has issued its report on dentists’ activity last year. 21.0 million adults and 6.3 million children were seen by an NHS dentist in the 24 months leading up to June 30, 2020, but this was affected by the Covid-19 shut down and is likely to decline further in the coming months, as the effects of the cross-infection control measures become apparent.

Key data from the report

  • 21.0 million adults were seen by an NHS dentist in the 24 months leading up to June 30, 2020. But this figure was affected by the closure of practices as a result of Covid-19. On March 31, 2020 the equivalent figure was 21.8 million.
  • Likewise, for children 6.3 million were seen up to June 30, but the equivalent figure for March 31 had been 7.0million.
  • 38.4 million courses of treatment were delivered in 2019-20. A decrease of 3.36 per cent compared to the previous year.
  • 44.5 per cent of adult clinical treatments were for Scale and Polish in 2019-20
  • 55.0 per cent of clinical treatments for children were for Fluoride Varnish Treatment in 2019-20
  • 24,684 dentists performed NHS activity during 2019-20, an increase of 139 on the previous year

Commenting on the figures Neil Carmichael, Chair of the Association of Dental Groups, said: “The figures are just the latest proof that the number of dentists working in the NHS is plummeting in many of the areas where they are most needed. In large parts of the country, dentists are deserting the NHS and it is the poorest patients who are often paying the price. That’s why we urgently need to increase the pipeline of new dentists here in the UK while also making it easier for overseas professionals to enter UK dentistry.”

The full report can be found at:


The analysis of the effect of Covid-19 at:


Anthony Kilcoyne
Last edited on 13.09.2020 00:08 by Anthony Kilcoyne
Media interest in Dearth of Dentists story
Much Media interest developing in Dentistry woes, recognising there were issues pre-Covid lockdown and now much worse as a result of 3 months closure and only partial services able to resume with their many additional restrictions, backlog waiting lists etc.

You can listen to my interview here on LBC Radio this week after the prominent Times article expressing 'Dentist Dearth' woes too:


Yours also observationally ,



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