Hospital tooth extractions hit record high, as hundreds of children treated every week
The number of tooth extraction procedures carried out in hospitals in England has hit a record high, statistics have confirmed.
According to figures released by the Local Government Association, more than 160 procedures to remove rotten teeth under general anaesthetic are carried out every day. Last year, 40,800 procedures involving under 18-s were performed in England at a cost of £35 million to the NHS.
In many cases, doctors and dentists are faced with no option but to operate due to the scale of decay, and the number of teeth affected. Most experts agree that diet plays an instrumental role, with research suggesting British children consume more sugar than children in most other Western countries.
The number of procedures is clearly having an impact on NHS funding, but it also confirms a significant increase in the number of children affected by decay. There has been a 10.7 percent increase in the number of hospital procedures since 2012-2013.
Experts believe that young children and teenagers are consuming too much sugar, with sweets, chocolate bars and fizzy drinks part of a daily diet for many youngsters. An average can of cola contains up to 9 teaspoons of sugar, which is well above the recommended daily intake of 6 teaspoons. Many children are consuming a can a day plus a host of other sugary foods and drinks.
It is hoped that a new tax on sugary drinks, which will be imposed in 2018 will make a difference; however, dentists have called for parents and older children to take more responsibility, and also for education to be improved.