Dental public health expert reacts to latest figures on the number of children who have had teeth extracted in hospital

March 21, 2017 by Andrew Gould, University of Plymouth
Credit: University of Plymouth

The Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons has obtained and published data which show a shocking 24 per cent rise in the number of tooth extractions in hospital for children aged four and under in the past decade.

The number of affected has risen from 7,444 in 2006/7 to 9,206 in 2015/16.

The data reveal that some 84,086 procedures took place on children within this age range and these dates, including 47 extractions in babies under the age of one is 2015/16.

Other figures showed that there have been more than 34,000 tooth extractions per year for the last two years in children aged nine and under. At 34,788 extractions in 2015/15 and 34,003 in 2016/16, the figures are higher than in any year between 2005/6 and 2013/14.

Professor Liz Kay, Foundation Dean of the Peninsula Dental School at Plymouth University and a nationally-recognised dental public expert with a particular interest in children's , is horrified by the data.

She said: "These figures are simply shocking. I find it outrageous that in this country and in this day and age so many children are undergoing surgery for a condition which is largely preventable. If that many children were having another body part removed because of something we could prevent there would, quite correctly, be a public outcry."

She added:

"The data highlight the parlous state of our children's teeth and makes for depressing reading. Much has been made of sugar's contribution to childhood obesity, but its effect on children's teeth is just as perilous. A better understanding of diet and good techniques will help parents and carers go a long way to improving their children's teeth and avoiding those trips to hospital for surgery. But they need to be supported by the food and drink industry which must surely now address the amount of hidden sugar in what ordinary people consume every day."

She commented:

"Tooth decay is preventable and for children under the age of 18 dental treatment is free of charge. We need better resourced oral health awareness campaigns to improve public knowledge about oral health issues in children, because in most instances we don't need to invent new solutions – the answers to the problem are already there."

Explore further: Dental public health expert reacts to LGA report on children's teeth

Related Stories

Dental public health expert reacts to LGA report on children's teeth

April 15, 2016
The Local Government Association has today published a report that states that around 100 children and teenagers a day are being admitted to hospital for surgery to remove rotten teeth.

Research explores lasting effects of early preventive dental care in Medicaid-enrolled children

March 13, 2017
Research out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health suggests preventive dental care provided by a dentist for children before the age of 2 enrolled in Medicaid in Alabama may lead to more care ...

What outcomes are associated with early preventive dental care among Medicaid-enrolled children in Alabama

February 27, 2017
Preventive dental care provided by a dentist for children before the age of 2 enrolled in Medicaid in Alabama was associated with more frequent subsequent treatment for tooth decay, more visits and more spending on dental ...

One in four Aussie kids under 10 has untreated tooth decay

May 19, 2016
Results of a national oral health survey led by the University of Adelaide show that a quarter of all Australian children aged 10 and under has untreated tooth decay.

Researchers close in on new ways to prevent child tooth decay

September 27, 2016
Around 2,700 Victorian children aged 0-6 years are hospitalised each year for preventable dental conditions—most of them requiring treatment of dental decay under general anaesthetic.

Study suggests that local anesthetic may affect the development of children's teeth

September 6, 2015
A study led by Dr. Bing Hu at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry and involving other researchers from China and Switzerland, suggests for the first time that the use of local anaesthetic may affect ...

Recommended for you

Lack of guidance may delay a child's first trip to the dentist

February 19, 2018
Without a doctor or dentist's guidance, some parents don't follow national recommendations for early dental care for their children, a new national poll finds.

Researcher uses stem cells to attack bacteria and regenerate dental pulp

February 7, 2018
Emi Shimizu's research could someday transform a procedure dental patients dread: the root canal.

Cavity prevention approach effectively reduces tooth decay

January 22, 2018
A scientifically based approach that includes a tooth-decay risk assessment, aggressive preventive measures and conservative restorations can dramatically reduce decay in community dental practices, according to a study by ...

Painless dental lasers can render teeth cavity-resistant

November 21, 2017
Almost as soon as lasers were invented in the 1960s, curious dentists wondered if these powerful forms of light could be used on teeth, though those early lasers were much too crude for any useful dental work.

Nanodiamonds show promise for aiding recovery from root canal

October 23, 2017
People who undergo root canals may soon have a tiny but powerful ally that could prevent infection after treatment.

Research shows aspirin could repair tooth decay

September 8, 2017
Researchers at Queen's University Belfast have discovered that aspirin could reverse the effects of tooth decay resulting in a reduction in the need for fillings. Currently about 7 million fillings are provided by the NHS ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.