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Outrage over potential migrant teeth testing


Earlier on this week, Conservative MP David Davies called for the controversial teeth testing of migrant children to confirm their age. Children have been arriving in the UK, from Calais, to join family members already in situ. Further checks may also potentially be performed, such as, Interviews and fingerprinting to attempt to certify identity.

Suspicions have been raised that some migrants are adults masquerading as children, and the Conservative MP for Monmouth, has called for compulsory dental checks to be performed to identify the age of people gaining refuge in the UK. Mr Davies was quoted on the BBC Website as saying that one of the children arriving had, “lines around his eyes and looks older than I am. If they are jumping on lorries, they are not going to be adverse to lying about their ages. We should do the tests.”

Following the controversy, dentists have condemned the checks, expressing concerns that the procedure would be unethical. A spokesman for the British Dental Association (BDA) has also spoken out about the disputed claims that dental checks would be able to confirm someone’s age and said the BDA was ‘Vigorously opposed’ to the idea of using dental X-rays for such means. “It’s not only an inaccurate method for assessing age, but it is both inappropriate and unethical to take radiographs of people when there is no health benefit for them.” The debate continues.




BDA concerned over rise in online antibiotic sales


The British Dental Association, along with other medical organisations, have raised concerns about the sale of antibiotics through online pharmaceuticals. An investigation carried out by the BBC has highlighted the rise in antibiotics being sold online with no ‘face to face’ appointments. Prescribing medication of this nature without any form of checking or consultation is against national guidelines set by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence).

Following the investigation findings, there has become a sense of urgency in the need for raising awareness, and to ensure that people know the real consequences and the serious public health threat that AMR (Antimicrobial Resistance) poses. It is advised that if patients are suffering from an ailment that they consider might need antibiotics then they should see their dentist or doctor, instead of turning to online pharmaceuticals to self-diagnose symptoms.

As part of the investigation, Faye Kirkland attempted to obtain three varying types of antibiotics from the same online store, citing symptoms for different conditions, one of which was a dental problem. Shockingly, she was able to get all three antibiotics within twenty four hours and the issue was likened to ‘antibiotics being handed out like Smarties.’




Teenagers in Northern Ireland have the worst levels of tooth decay in the UK


The Belfast Telegraph has revealed that teenagers in Northern Ireland have the worst levels of tooth decay in the United Kingdom; the statistics quoted are taken from the British Dental Association and they show that the country ‘tops the league table for rotten teeth’.

Around 72% of 15-year-olds were found to be suffering with some level of decay compared to 63% in Wales and 44% in England. The BDA is hoping to a new strategy to be implemented in order to counteract this problem and reduce the number of teenage patients that are being admitted to hospital to have teeth extracted due to decay.

As well as teenagers suffering with decay, cases of dental caries in five-year-olds have risen to 40% and chair of the BDA (NI) Council, Roz McMullan said that the government had the choice to accept these numbers as normal or ‘tackle this epidemic head on’ to try and remove Northern Ireland from the top of the league table for rotten teeth. McMullan added ‘All decay is presentable, and dentists need to know candidates from all the parties are ready to step up and take their share of responsibility.’


Price of dental treatment in England set to rise


The price of dental treatments in England is set to rise by 5% by the year 2017/18; a routine check-up will cost over twenty pounds and band C treatments, such as dental crowns, will cost over £240.

According to the government, the price changes will only affect ‘those who can afford it’ whilst at the same time ‘protecting the most vulnerable’. However, the British Dental Association does not agree, saying that this price rise could ultimately damage the dental health of the nation, as people avoid going to the dentist for check-ups and treatment.

A written statement to Parliament by Health Minister Alistair Burt said that the decision has been made to implement the 5% price rise, stating that ‘Dental charges remain an important contribution to the overall cost of dental services, first introduced in 1951.’

Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, of the British Dental Association, called the price hike ‘unprecedented’ and argued that this will only ‘discourage the patients that are most in need of care.’ He added that dentists were ‘being asked to play the role of tax collector, while our patients are singled out to subsidise the health service.’ Finally he said that this is likely to ‘undermine’ the relationship between dentists and patients, whilst giving patients ‘another reason to avoid visiting the dentist.’



Government promises action over teeth whitening concerns


Government promises action over teeth whitening concernsThe British Dental Association (BDA) has welcomed a government commitment to address concerns over teeth whitening treatments in the UK.

Edward Davey MP, parliamentary undersecretary of state at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, said whitening products should not be directly available to consumers.

He has also promised to raise the issue of chlorine dioxide in whitening products with the European Commission – a pledge that was met with approval by the BDA.

The association previously voiced concerns that the stance taken by trading standards officials over the procedure may prompt people to seek whitening treatments from unregulated practitioners and non-dental sources.

It warned that a tough approach from trading standards departments, as seen recently at Essex County Council, could potentially have dangerous consequences for consumers.

Meanwhile, a new awareness campaign designed to improve patients' understanding of the risks posed by uncertified tooth whitening operations has been launched by the General Dental Council.ADNFCR-2621-ID-800608106-ADNFCR

BDA calls meeting to ‘resolve teeth whitening concerns’


BDA calls meeting to 'resolve teeth whitening concerns'People considering teeth whitening treatment to improve the appearance of their smile could be interested in recent industry developments.

The British Dental Association (BDA) has called for an urgent meeting with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to discuss attitudes to the procedure conveyed by trading standards officials.

News of the issue comes after Essex County Council limited the distribution of hydrogen peroxide-based products to dentists.

As a result of the restricted supply, experts from the BDA have voiced concern that members of the public may be tempted to seek treatment from unqualified practitioners.

Stuart Johnston, chair of the BDA's representative body, said: "A significant body of evidence demonstrates the safety of whitening products when used by trained dental professionals.

"We urge trading standards officers to adopt a pragmatic approach that recognises this."

This news comes after US dental professionals called for tougher regulations on whitening treatments in a bid to reduce the risk of damaging teeth, ABC News reports. ADNFCR-2621-ID-800570996-ADNFCR

BDA unveils manifesto for dental care in Wales


The British Dental Association has called for a renewed emphasis on oral health in Wales.The British Dental Association (BDA) has issued a manifesto for the May elections of the Welsh Assembly.

With political parties attempting to stir up support before the voting begins, the association called for whoever is elected in Cardiff to focus on improving the nation's oral health.

"Dentistry here is now at a critical juncture and the new administration will need to address a number of significant challenges," said Stuart Geddes, BDA director for Wales.

The BDA wants the new Assembly Government to tackle oral health inequalities and expand Designed to Smile, a community-based dental care programme for children.

It also expressed concern that a significant number of Welsh dentists may decide to retire due to low morale, which could leave people in some areas without access to emergency dentistry services.

Earlier this month, the BDA warned patients that deferring dental treatment due to economic concerns could lead to greater health problems down the line.ADNFCR-2621-ID-800434484-ADNFCR

Deferring treatment ‘could lead to emergency dentistry’


Deferring treatment 'could lead to emergency dentistry'People have been warned that cancelling dental appointments due to the costs involved may result in them having to undergo emergency dentistry in the future.

According to new research conducted by the British Dental Association (BDA), financial concerns following the global economic downturn are causing many patients across the UK to defer attention from a specialist.

The BDA found that 59 per cent of professionals in the field have seen patients cancel an appointment recently, while the last year has seen 33 per cent of practitioners record an upturn in demand for emergency treatment – which may include teeth implants or cosmetic dentistry.

Dr Susie Sanderson, chair of the executive board of the BDA, said it is "understandable" that people are looking to restrict their outgoings during the current economic climate.

However, she added: "Neglecting your oral health can increase both the complexity of the problems you face and the cost of the treatment you must eventually have."

Meanwhile, Louise Chidlow of the British Dental Health Foundation said recently that using fluoride toothpaste is "an absolute must" for maintaining dental health.ADNFCR-2621-ID-800426316-ADNFCR

Dr title is appropriate for dentists, says BDA


The Dr title should remain for British dentists, according to consensusPractitioners of dental procedures such as teeth whitening and teeth implants should continue to use the title ‘Dr’, according to a survey.

The British Dental Association (BDA) carried out an online discussion over the use of the courtesy title between July and September this year, attracting a large number of responses.

It indicated that dentists in London and elsewhere are keen to continue being referred to as Dr, while the majority of patients are not confused by the presence of the title.

“The practice of referring to dentists in this way is long-established overseas and is also now firmly embedded in the UK,” said Dr Susie Sanderson, chair of the association’s executive board.

She added that patients have no issue with the title “as long as it is made clear that the individual in question is a dentist”.

The BDA, a professional body which has approximately 23,000 members in the UK, conducted the discussion in response to a consultation being run by the General Dental Council.ADNFCR-2621-ID-800088445-ADNFCR

BDA: Funding increase is disappointing


BDA unhappy with pay increases.

The British Dental Association (BDA) has claimed its funding levels for 2010-11 are “disappointing”. dentist funding

The Department of Health announced salaried dentists will see a pay increase of one per cent over the coming year, while dental practitioners are set to receive a 0.9 per cent raise.

Susie Sanderson, chair of the BDA’s executive board, said: “High street dentists will be particularly disappointed that the government has chosen to disregard the review body’s advice that efficiency savings should only be considered retrospectively.”

Indeed, Ms Sanderson noted the government would appear to be ignoring the fact that provision of dental services is getting more costly.

Elsewhere, Cosmetic Dentistry Guide recently reported access to emergency dentistry facilities remains poor in Yorkshire.

An NHS review showed 42,000 fewer adults were able to access dental health services in North Yorkshire in 2009 in comparison to 2007, despite the fact the government pledged to improve access in 2006.

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