Brighter Dental has taken a big step towards improving the long-term dental health of children in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
The company, part of the award-winning dental community interest company Smile Together, is offering free places for up to 200 local children in each of its practices in Bodmin, Newquay, Penzance, Saltash and the Isles of Scilly.
Currently a child can only receive free dental treatment if they are registered with a dentist who holds an NHS contract, which not all dentists do. Therefore many
This is fast becoming a major public health issue so to help tackle this lack of access to essential early dental care, Brighter Dental is enabling children to go free as long as their parent or carer registers as a private patient themselves and they attend for their check-ups together. Brighter Dental is committed to giving free check-ups and preventative treatments, together with discounted treatments starting from just £5 so that every child’s dental care remains affordable.
An estimated 50% of Cornwall’s population have not registered with a dentist, which is a major reason why each year around 1,000 local children have decayed teeth removed in an operating theatre under general anaesthetic. It is the number one reason for hospitalisation for that age group, yet one which is entirely preventable.
Sandra Silva, Clinical Director at Brighter Dental, explained: “We hope this offer will enable more local families to access competitively priced dental care on a regular basis rather than simply waiting for NHS places to become available. With us, children up to and including the age of 17 will receive regular dental care including fluoride varnishing to strengthen and fissure sealants to protect their teeth along with advice to prevent tooth decay in the future. Such dental care from an early age not only improves their oral health but removes that anxiety about visiting the dentist.”
Paul Critchley, managing director at Smile Together, said: “As a social enterprise, every penny of the profit we make is invested back into our community, to enable us to continue reaching more and more local people including children with both dental treatment and oral healthcare advice and guidance. This local campaign completely supports the strategy of the Chief Dental Officer and British Society of Paediatric Dentistry (BSPD) to get more children seen and treated, so we genuinely do encourage parents and carers to book an appointment for their children as soon as possible”.
This latest initiative further strengthens Smile Together’s commitment to improving children’s oral health in the county. Last year it launched its Brighter Smiles campaign which complements a contract from Cornwall Council with generous financial support from other local organ