Recent studies have shown that only 30% of parents are taking their children to the dentist when toothache occurs, with the majority of other parents resorting to doctors and pharmacies. As a result, this is costing the NHS millions, according to a recent study undertaken by the Queen Mary Institute of Dentistry. Many dentists throughout London warn it is essential to children’s oral health to address any potential issues through dental care rather than masking through use of painkillers, in order to prevent future issues.
Communication Between Pharmacist, General Practitioner and Dentists
Communication for child dental care must be developed and communication between pharmacists and dentists improved to structure an effective solution to this growing problem. With 65 percent of parents selecting pain relief over a routine check-up for dental pain, the NHS is spending an estimated £2.3 million to cater for parents taking their children to multiple health care professionals.
Only 58 percent of children visited the dentist over the last year. Communication between all sectors in the NHS to prevent the origins of tooth decay will form a solution to this ever-growing problem. Patients should routinely be directed to the appropriate NHS sector for tooth pain and other dental issues, as opposed to healthcare professionals accommodating these patients in the wrong areas.
Lack Of Urgent Dental Care During Weekends To Blame, Research Explains
During the time of the research being undertaken, it was noticed that Saturday and Sunday were the peak days for parents to use painkillers for their child’s oral pain. This could be partially caused by limited urgent care over weekend periods, with parents using painkillers to aid their child until a dentist appointment can be arranged.
Increased availability may help to minimise this, as younger children will be seen at a faster rate, in turn dramatically reducing the need for painkillers over essential dental care.
Implementation Of The Childsmile Programme
The Childsmile program provides fluoride toothpaste and essential teeth cleaning items to young children, teaching them dental hygiene at a young age. Wider implementation of this program will increase the overall understanding of the importance of dental care for children below the age of 10.
With this program implemented, the heads of schools, Smilechild and the local dentists all work together to offer regular dental trips, promoting positive dental care as well as integrating this learning into the school curriculum. This will help ensure children, as well as their parents, are aware of the dangers of ignoring dental health issues. More young children will then have regular check-ups, helping prevent many future emergency situations. This effort should lead to less sourcing of pain killers in the future.
Dental care for young children is very important as this is the early stages of their development. Dentists, General Practitioners and Pharmacists need to work together to structure a beneficial solution to the pressing issue of parents seeking alternatives to dental care before it irreparable harm.