Tooth decay removal rate among children across the East Riding one of the lowest in England, new figures show

Fewer children in East Yorkshire had decaying teeth removed in hospital during the coronavirus pandemic than in almost any other area of England, new figures show.

By Andrew Dowdeswell (Data Reporter)
Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 11:30 am
Office for Health Improvement and Disparities figures show that around 10 children aged 19 or younger in the East Riding had at least one tooth removed in hospital due to decay in 2020-21. Photo: PA Images
Office for Health Improvement and Disparities figures show that around 10 children aged 19 or younger in the East Riding had at least one tooth removed in hospital due to decay in 2020-21. Photo: PA Images

But the British Dental Association (BDA) has urged the Government to address a growing backlog of dental care caused by Covid-19, with extractions across England plummeting by more than half.

Office for Health Improvement and Disparities figures show that around 10 children aged 19 or younger in the East Riding had at least one tooth removed in hospital due to decay in 2020-21.

It meant around 14 in every 100,000 children in the area underwent a tooth extraction as a result of decaying teeth last year.

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This was among the lowest rates in the country, and down from 43 per 100,000 in 2019-20, as the pandemic hampered non-Covid activity in hospitals across the country.

Across England, 14,645 youngsters had rotten teeth removed compared to 35,190 before the pandemic.

The BDA warned the variation in teeth extraction rates highlights differing oral hygiene standards across the country, especially between deprived and affluent areas, and said the backlog caused by the pandemic will affect worse-off areas more.

The Dental Wellness Trust branded the national drop in extractions “shocking” and urged the Government to take urgent action to address the backlog.

The Department for Health and Social Care said it has provided £50 million to fund up to 350,00 additional NHS dental appointments.

It said dentists prioritised vulnerable groups throughout the pandemic and provided free care to the neediest groups, including pregnant women, young people and those on low-income benefits.

A spokesperson said: “We are committed to levelling up dental health across the country.”