Fife misses target by skin of its teeth

Mayfield Dental Practice.'A patients view from the chair as a dentist prepares to examine their teeth.'Pic.... Neil Hanna
Mayfield Dental Practice.'A patients view from the chair as a dentist prepares to examine their teeth.'Pic.... Neil Hanna
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FIFE has failed to reach targets designed to improve children’s dental health, according to the latest Government findings.

Statistics on dental health for the whole of Scotland showed that NHS Fife failed to reach a number of targets including:

•100 per cent of P1 and P7 children to receive a basic dental inspection in 2010

•100 per cent of primary schools in the most deprived areas to particiapte in teethbrushing schem,es

•90 per cent of 6-12 year-olds to be registered with an NHS dentist

•65 per cent of adults ages 18-64 years to be registered

•Half of all people aged 65-plus to be registered.

However, although Fife fell short in reaching a goal of 60 per cent of youngsters in P1 with no tooth decay, it only missed out by 0.3 per cent.

In fact, the figure is the best recorded in Fife since dental surveys began in the late 1980s.

Meanwhile the same figures for P7 pupils exceeded the 60 per cent target, as well as one dentist per 1750 population including hospital dentists.

And Fife was slightly above the target of 80 per cent for five-year-olds registered with an NHS dentist.

Graham Ball, consultant in dental public health with NHS Fife, said: “The statistics show that 59.7 per cent of all P1 children were found to be free of obvious decay - the best ever result in Fife for them since regular surveys began in the late 1980s.

“The continued delivery of the Childsmile Nursery and School programme will ensure further progression is made. Our community dental staff have carried out both detailed and basic dental inspections, with over 16 per cent more P1s and over 14 per cent mpre P7s receiving basic inspections n 2010.

“The number of children receiving them does, however, depend on how many are present when the dental team visit.

“The proportion of nursery schools and targeted primaries taking part in supervised teethbrushing programmes has also risen to 100 and 97 per cent.

“In Fife, 85 per cent of general dental practitioners are now NHS committed upon qualifying - 40,000 more adults registered in June 2010 compared to two years earlier, and over 6000 more children were registered.

“Calls to our Dental Helpline for assistance in finding an NHS dentist have also halved.”