National survey finds good levels of dental health in South Gloucestershire

Five year olds in South Gloucestershire enjoy relatively low levels of dental decay compared with children from other areas according to a survey released today.

The survey by the new NHS Dental Epidemiology Programme (NHS DEP) for England provides a snapshot of the oral health of five-year-old children. The report NHS Dental Epidemiology Programme for England; Oral Health Survey of five year old children, 2007/2008 reveals that 69% of five-year-old children are free of obvious dental decay or have no decayed, missing due to decay or filled teeth.

The survey included the examination of nearly 140,000 five-year-old children from state schools across 147 of the 152 Primary Care Trust (PCT) areas of England during the 2007/08 academic year. It concluded that three out of ten (31%) five-year-olds in England have obvious dental decay.

In South Gloucestershire only 20.8% of five-year-olds have obvious dental decay. The figures show that five-year-old children in South Gloucestershire have on average less than one (0.85) decayed, missing or filled tooth. The figures for South Gloucestershire are the best in the South West. Nationally the figures range from 0.48 in West Kent to 2.50 in Brent. However, the figures show that South Gloucestershire has a relatively high proportion of filled teeth.

Dr Chris Payne, Director of Public Health, said, “These results suggest that children in South Gloucestershire are visiting a dentist and therefore decay is being treated before it leads to either missing teeth or obviously decayed teeth.”

“We know that access to an NHS dentist is of concern to many members of the public and the good news is that, here in South Gloucestershire, we have dentists offering places to NHS patients.”

Any member of the public who is looking for an NHS dentist should ring the helpline on 0845 120 6680 to find their nearest NHS dentist.