New figures show ‘dentists are deserting the NHS and poorest patients are paying the price’ 

The Association of Dental Groups has responded to this morning’s publication of the NHS Dental Statistics for England 2019-2020.

The statistics reveal that overall, the number of dentists with NHS activity in England went up slightly – from 24,545 in 2018/19 to 24,684 in 2019/20.

But they also reveal significant regional disparities – with 65 NHS clinical commissioning groups seeing dentist numbers go down over the past year.

At seven NHS clinical commissioning groups, dentist numbers declined by 20% or more from 2018-19 to 2019-2020.

Neil Carmichael, Chair of the ADG, said:

“The figures are just the latest proof that the number of dentists working in the NHS is plummeting in many of the areas where they are most needed.  
“In large parts of the country, dentists are deserting the NHS and it is the poorest patients who are often paying the price. 
“That’s why we urgently need to increase the pipeline of new dentists here in the UK while also making it easier for overseas professionals to enter UK dentistry.”