Spring 2010

NHS dental care

NHS dentistry continues to be available in Calderdale for a large number of people. The questions we asked the panel in this section were to help us understand their experiences when visiting the dentist and tell us where we can make improvements to the service.

Over 65% of respondents said they currently have a NHS dentist, with 7% saying they do not currently have one, but would like one. More than 83% said they have visited the dentist in the last twelve months, of which 81% visited for a regular check up and 10% visited due to having specific trouble with their teeth.

Chart depicting difficulty in getting routine dental care

84% said they do not have trouble getting regular dental care but 10% do find this difficult. The main reasons for difficulty are cost (21.6%)or not enough dentists taking new patients (17.7%).

Other reasons were lack of time or dentists' opening hours (15.4%), dentists only treating privately (14.6%), lack of a local dentist (13.1%), fear of dentists or the treatment (11.5%), and difficulty making the journey (6.1%). These responses are illustrated in the graph.

7% found it difficult to get care if they had specific problems, again due to cost or lack of time. Over 55% of these respondents have found it necessary in the past to use other facilities (eg. Doctor, A&E, Pharmacy) when they experienced dental problems.

Almost 80% of panellists with a child under the age of eighteen have not had any problems in getting dental care for their child; however 8% have experienced problems in this area.

Chart depicting cleanliness and comfort of dentist's surgeryOver 85% of panel members find it easy to access their dentist with almost all finding the surgeries ‘Very or Fairly’ “Clean and Comfortable”.

For cleanliness, 80.7% found the dentists' surgeries very good, 18.6% fairly good, and only 0.7% found them fairly poor.

For comfort, 67.9% found the surgeries very good, 28.7% fairly good, 3.1% fairly poor and 0.3% very poor. The graph illustrates how “Clean and Comfortable” patients find their dental surgeries.

Almost 97% of patients said the dentist helped to put them at ease during their visit with a similar number saying that the dentist explained everything to them, including any treatment they needed.

If you would like to attend an NHS dentist please contact the PCT Dental Helpline on 01422 281576.

Last Updated: 06/01/2016