NHS Dental Statistics: Dentist Numbers Down But Treatments Delivered Are Up

NHS Dental Statistics: Dentist Numbers Down But Treatments Delivered Are Up

The NHS Dental Statistics for England 2022-23 have just been published and out of the myriad of numbers, percentages and trends, one statistic will see ministers cling to it like Titanic passengers to a life raft:  the number of courses of treatment delivered over the past year is up by almost a quarter at 23.2 %.

The downwards trend in dentist numbers continued, albeit at a much slower pace. The number of dentists performing NHS activity now stands at 24,151, down by just 121 on the previous year.

This dramatic leap in completed courses of treatment  is to be welcomed, but hardly comes as a surprise. 2021-22 was still saddled with Standard Operating Procedures (‘SOP’s’ -remember those?) designed to protect patients and staff from Covid transmission.

Although much diluted from the draconian SOP’s introduced in 2020, the continued caution demanded in the wake of the pandemic served as a hangover that forced the profession to drive in the middle lane with UDA targets still reduced.

Other key takeaways from the document include: -

  • 6.4 million children were seen by an NHS dentist in the twelve months up to June 2023
  • 18.1 million adults were seen in the twenty-four months up to June 2023
  • 33.1% - a third – of adult clinical treatments included a Scale and Polish in 2022-23
  • 55.6% of clinical treatments for children included Fluoride Varnish Treatment in 2022-23

The Dental Statistics paint a comprehensive picture of NHS dental activity including clinical activity, patient eligibility and charges and dental workforce together with information on the number of patients seen by an NHS dentist.  To enable comparisons, the report contains data from the previous four years.

GDPUK will bring you more revelations from the NHS statistics over the coming days.  For readers who wish to delve deeper, they can be viewed here: -



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