Negative Lights Being Shined On England’s Dental Industry

Companies across the globe try and take advantage of people’s health in order to make a quick buck. Sports drinks, for instance, market their products like they are healthy for active kids but actually cause severe enamel loss, although only half as much as energy drinks (3.1% for energy drinks and 1.5% for sports drinks).

Unfortunately, it’s not always companies offering products that are taking advantage of people and their health — sometimes it’s the health and dental organizations themselves.

According to the BBC, there have been some troubling issues going on in the U.K. dental world with fraud, major financial disparities, and unfair dental expenses and fines.

The National Health Service (NHS) Business Services Authority is searching for ways to improve the way dental insurance forms are handled to streamline treatment, clear up any confusion, and prevent unfair fines.

“I received one filling,” said an upset dental patient, “and weeks later the penalty charge notice came through the door. I am being fined £100.”

The NHS is hoping to clear up any confusion but a further infestation is ongoing to see if any malicious activity was involved.

“We continually review our data-matching process and make improvements where possible,” said the NHS Business Services Authority. “We’re also working with various partner organizations to educate patients and healthcare professionals on the rules around eligibility for free dental treatment, to reduce the number of incorrect claims caused by confusion or lack of awareness.”

Everyone wants to have healthy teeth and a good smile. In fact, more than half the adult population across the pond in the U.S. agree that a smile is the one physical feature that stays the most attractive as a person ages. Unfortunately, dental care doesn’t always accommodate for some of the more concerning oral issues, especially if the patient is financially deprived.

The Smile

A new report by the Nuffield Trust and the Health Foundation found another issue with England’s dental care: a shocking divide in dental care standards between the rich and the poor.

“As a nation, our dental health is improving,” said Professor John Appleby, director of research at the Nuffield Trust. “But it is shocking that your income or where you live can still determine your dental health.”

The report showed that 14% of people from poorer backgrounds had been hospitalized in need of dental work, against 7% of the more affluent.

“Improving oral health, particularly in children, is a key priority for this government, and we want everyone to be able to access an NHS dentist wherever they are,” said a spokeswoman for the Department of Health.

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