The British Society of Paediatric Dentistry (BSPD) has welcomed new recall guidance (1) designed to ensure the most vulnerable children and young people (CYP) get access to dental care as swiftly as possible. Recently published, the guidance supplements existing NICE recall guidance (2) which recommends CYP are seen at least annually.
A new implementation tool supports the guidance; red, amber and green colour-coding provide dental teams with a clear direction on the CYP who should be prioritised for recall. In future, all dental practices should ensure the youngest and most vulnerable children are prioritised for care.
News of the updated guidance was issued in a joint bulletin from Sara Hurley, chief dental officer, and Simon Kenny, national clinical director for children and young people – a collaboration underscoring the importance of the initiative.
BSPD’s Dental Check by One campaign, launched in 2017, was driven by the recognition that an early appointment with a dentist was an opportunity for the family to get preventive advice. With 100,000 more children seeing a dentist in 2018/19, Dental Check by One was starting to take effect. This positive change was halted by the pandemic.
Claire Stevens, BSPD spokesperson, commented, “We are glad to see publication of this guidance which should improve oral health among the most vulnerable and vitally, help reduce inequalities.”
She continued to explain that children aged between two and five would be unlikely to manage multiple extractions in a dental chair and usually needed a general anaesthetic, noting, “Consultants and specialists in paediatric dentistry hope very much that the impact of the recall guidance will be to reduce the number of very young children being referred to us for a general anaesthetic.”