Time for action to reduce hospitalisation of children for dental extractions

Image representing Time for action to reduce hospitalisation of children for dental extractions



The inexorable rise in numbers of young children being admitted to hospital for general anaesthetics (GAs) for multiple tooth extractions must be halted, says Stephen Fayle, a media spokesman for the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry.

Figures which show how many people in England have been hospitalised are assessed annually and released in April by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). However, an interim analysis1 of the HSCIC numbers for children’s hospital admissions show that there has been a 10% increase over the last four years. The vast majority of these procedures will be for a GA for multiple extractions.

Mr Fayle a paediatric dental consultant at Leeds General Infirmary and a former President of BSPD and a member of the Board of the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of England says it’s time to halt the upward trend.

“In 2014/15 there were 33,781 children admitted to hospital for dental extractions and I’m sad to say I see no evidence that numbers are declining. Conversely, referrals here appear to be increasing.”

Claire Stevens, also a BSPD media spokesperson and a paediatric dental consultant, said the Society is calling for the introduction of a national programme of prevention akin to Scotland’s Childsmile scheme and it also wants to see every child going to a dentist by the age of one. “We want all agencies involved with children to work together to communicate the importance of oral health to overall well-being.”

She added: “In May, BSPD is bringing together leading representatives of a wide range of organisations for a high level stakeholder meeting. We want to find ways for all involved in the care of children to collaborate more effectively. Inevitably, it’s children in the deprived communities who are the most likely to be among the worst affected by the burden of disease and as a Society we cannot accept this. Action needs to be taken.”


1. by the Press Association








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