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Posts Tagged ‘dental facilities’

Dental costs in Wales to be frozen

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Health Minister Edwina Hart has announced that the costs of NHS dental treatment in Wales is to be frozen at its 2006 level.

The verdict to freeze the costs for a fifth year in a row was taken to try and improve access to dental facilities in Wales for the wider community. Dental treatment will cost you either £12, £39 or £177 depending on the procedure you have carried out and the equipment needed.

The £12 charge is for check-ups, maintenance and emergency appointments, the £39 bill will be for treatments such as fillings and extractions while the highest costs are for treatments involving appliances including orthodontics.

Mrs Hart said of the freeze: “By freezing dental charges in Wales for the fifth year running, we are maintaining access to NHS dentistry for the people of Wales, ensuring charges remain affordable and in doing so helping to tackle oral health inequalities.”

“Thanks to the significant extra investment we have made, access to general dental services has improved significantly over recent years. I do, however, appreciate that there may be particular areas where access to dental services is still difficult. Areas where access has proved difficult in the past have seen some of the greatest improvements.”

She added; “In addition to increasing access to dentists, we are also investing in raising awareness of people’s responsibility in taking care of their own oral health as they should for their general health and wellbeing. Simple steps, such as people brushing their teeth thoroughly with fluoride toothpaste twice a day, can make a significant difference to improve their oral health.”

Stuart Geddes, director of the British Dental Association in Wales, said: “This is good news for patients and should act as an incentive for them to seek dental care – it’s certainly cheaper to see a dentist in Wales than it is in England.”

Regional government promises to spend more on dentistry

Monday, February 14th, 2011

The political parties in New South Wales, Australia, are gearing up for the March election, with the current government promising to spend a further 12.5 million Australian dollars on dental facilities.

Current Premier Kristine Keneally said the extra funds would help children and the elderly to not only access better dental healthcare, but also to support oral hygiene in the home.

“Sometimes, the cost of a child’s (teeth) cleaning is just beyond the reach of a family’s budget, particularly for those who are really, really struggling,” Ms Keneally told reporters.

“This is going to assist pensioners, this is going to assist children, this is going to assist families who are really struggling to make ends meet.”

The plans would see dental vouchers worth $400 given to every eligible person, to help pay for dental treatment or equipment. It is thought that 10,000 people will be given these vouchers if Keneally is returned to power, with 5,000 sets of dentures also being made available along with 500  general anaesthetic procedures for kids. A further $2.5 million will be spent on updating facilities in dental surgeries.

However, the NSW branch of the Australian Dental Association are concerned that the measures are only a short-term fix for a dental health system that needs long-term investment. While any extra investment is welcome, as spokesman warned that it “won’t touch the sides of the significant need within the NSW community”.

Keneally argues that urgent investment is needed in the short term to tackle the state’s long waiting list for dental treatment, that currently stands at 120,000. Once people have received the urgent dental help that they need, then politicians can look into more long-term projects.

Pensioners groups are not convinced that this promised extra money will make much difference to the elderly and vulnerable in New South Wales, and have called for the creation of a dental insurance scheme, similar to the Medicare programme in the US.