1 million mums are missing out on dental care as a result of the Covid crisis

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Dental

In the UK, pregnant women are entitled to free dental care on the NHS if they start treatment during their gestation period, until their child is one year old.

However, according to recent NHS figures, the treatment of pregnant women and women with children under 12 months has dropped during the Covid 19 period.

“treatments for pregnant women and women with children under 12 months have dropped during the Covid 19 period”

Before the pandemic, more than 840,000 maternity waiver applications were filed on average each year. Very quickly, this number fell to less than a third in 2020/2021, to less than 246,000. It has since started to rise but remains at almost half the initial number, just over 490,000 in 2021/ 2022, accumulating during the pandemic for a loss of more than 944,000 dental appointments.

Chief Scientific Adviser at the BDA, Professor Justin Durham explained that “pregnant women and new mums are being offered free dental care because the risks are clear and the benefits clear”.

“Unfortunately, almost a million women have not been able to benefit from free dental care. Not getting regular free dental care can have a huge impact on both mother and child, and the most vulnerable in society are likely to lose out the most.

He continued: “We need to see real urgency in reforming NHS dentistry so that there is better access for all. Any money saved should be reinvested to improve the oral health of mother and child.

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