12 Jan

Prime Minister uses dental crisis to highlight the need to stick with Plan B

The Prime Minister has used the dental crisis to highlight the need to stick with existing Plan B Covid measures.

Speaking in the House of Commons ahead of a decision about keeping existing Covid-19 restrictions, Boris Johnson said that it was right to continue with Plan B, as there are currently 10 million ‘unfilled fillings’ in the UK.

The Prime Minister argued that the country needs to press on as best as it can under existing measures, rather than implementing more stringent, restrictive guidelines to ensure that situations like the dental crisis don’t get worse.

It is estimated that over 30 million dental appointments have been missed due to the pandemic and there are grave concerns about the impact on general standards of dental health, as well as rates of oral cancer, gum disease and decay.

Mr Johnson said that he wanted to ensure that people are able to keep going to the dentist amid ongoing concern about pressure on hospitals linked to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.

Case numbers have risen sharply in the last month and despite data suggesting that the strain is less potent than the Delta variant, the high case numbers will undoubtedly translate into an increase in hospital admissions.

The government is reluctant to tighten measures again and is sticking with Plan B, which includes wearing face coverings and working from home.

Dr Ehsan from Harley Private Dental stated that patients should take all precautions they can, wear masks at all times and observe strict handwashing routines.

The Prime Minister responded to a question from Labour MP for Stockport, Navendu Mishra, who said that one of her constituents, a mental health worker, had to make three emergency dental appointments for the same tooth because she couldn’t access routine services.

Mr Johnson said that the case highlights the need to keep people going to the dentist and “keep this country going” and added that extra funding worth £36 billion was going to the NHS to clear backlogs and improve access to health services.