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Health and Social Care Committee launch inquiry into dental services

31 July 2019


Dentistry has been a part of the NHS since its inception in 1948. In 1951, charges for dentures, the first charges of any kind for NHS treatment, were introduced. Other charges were later introduced for dental services.

Previous governments have acknowledged that the focus of NHS dentistry has been too focused on treatment rather than prevention. The Government is currently testing prototypes for a new dental contract with an emphasis on prevention. 

Terms of reference

The House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee is holding an inquiry into dentistry services. The Committee invites written submissions regarding the following:

  • What is the state of the relationship between the NHS and dentistry? How satisfactory are the arrangements for the provision of dental services by the NHS? Are current arrangements contributing to the widening of health inequality?
  • How could access to NHS dentistry be improved? Are there inequalities in access to dentistry services? If so, why, and what could be done to address them? 
  • Where does dentistry fit within NHS primary care services? What opportunities are presented by the development of primary care networks? 
  • What issues are affecting the wider dental workforce? What steps need to be taken to address them? Is sufficient data available on the workforce and if not how should it be improved?
  • What are the issues in commissioning and payment systems for NHS dental services? How can they be improved?
  • What needs to be included in, or removed from, the forthcoming NHS dental contract? 
  • Is there enough focus on prevention in dentistry and what are the avoidable harms that could be addressed? What more can be done to encourage prevention and what can be learnt from best practice in other parts of the UK and EU?
  • What should be done around fluoridation policy and what is the evidence base to support it?

Submit your views

The deadline for submissions was Friday 13 September 2019

  • Submit your evidence using our online portal

The Committee invites evidence from the public, organisations and others with relevant expertise, on the terms of reference. (Please note that submissions don't need to address all the areas covered in the terms of reference to be accepted.)

Each submission should: 

  • be no more than 4,000 words in length 
  • be in Word format with as little use of colour or logos as possible 
  • have numbered paragraphs

Further information

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