Dental practices 'weeks from a cliff edge', say dentists
A BDA poll suggests 70% of practices report that they can only maintain financial viability for a maximum of three months. Those providing predominantly private care are worst affected.
The poll capturing the responses of nearly a quarter of all practices in the UK has revealed:
While the NHS side of practices have been offered some support by government, the BDA has warned that if those practices with a greater reliance on private work go under, whatever service remains will be unable to meet patient demand.
The private side of dentistry effectively cross subsidises a diminishing NHS budget, with total spend on private care exceeding the UK-wide NHS dental budget every year since 2012. Unmet need for NHS dental services was estimated last year at around 4 million adults in England.
NHS practices currently receive some help with their business rates. Dentist leaders are pressing for the full rates relief offered to the retail and hospitality sectors to be extended to all high street practices, and for pledges to simplify and expand the government loan scheme to be expedited.