Devon dental negligence claims

As experts in Devon dental negligence claims and with National Children’s Dental Health Month approaching, we look at the issues being raised with local dental practices in Devon.

Shortage of dentists in Devon

There has been a huge decline in the number of dentists and orthodontists providing treatment, particularly in North Devon. NHS Devon figures are showing that 6,287 people are on the NHS dental waiting list in North Devon and Torridge, of which, 1,183 are children. It has been calculated that almost 100,000 people across Devon are waiting to see a dentist and there does not seem to be any improvement.

What is the cause of the shortage?

The “payment system” brought in by the government has meant that dentists receive the same funding for a patient that needs one filling as a patient that needs ten. Every practice has a annual UDA target (units of dental activity) and treating a patient will earn them three units, regardless of the length of the procedure. This means that there is no incentive to treat patients with extensive dental issues and every incentive to not treat patients with the greatest needs.

Funding is also given to half of Devon’s population and the allocation per person is not enough to cover treatments such as fillings, root canals and extractions.

How is this affecting the dental health of children in Devon?

In November 2023 there were no practicing orthodontists in North Devon. This has meant that children who have braces have not been able to have their treatment plans followed through with. If braces have broken, children have not been able to get them fixed, leading to other dental issues. Many children in Devon have needed to travel over 20 miles to see a dentist, and because so  many dental practices are at full capacity, some children have been left untreated.

What is being done to solve the problem?

The matter has been raised in Parliament and the government has looked at reformed dental contracts, so dental practices can maximise the number of NHS patients they see. The government is also looking to recruit overseas dentists, though this is taking more time than first anticipated.

Dental crisis and Devon dental negligence claims

We are finding that dental negligence claims are rising, and this is a direct result of the issues that the dental industry is facing. We are finding that children are not having their dental plans followed, which is resulting in further harm arising.

Our Devon dental negligence claim specialists are on hand to provide you with a free case assessment and details of No Win No Fee funding

Call us our medical negligence team on 01271 372128 or send an email to us at [email protected]

Devon dental negligence claims
For a free case assessment
0808 139 1594

Start your claim online now