Dentists see 900,000 fewer patients

Dentists are seeing fewer patients, potentially increasing GP workload, according to NHS Information Centre figures.

A total of 900,000 fewer patients were seen by dentists in the 24 months to December 2008 than the 24 months to March 2006.

In October 2007 health minister Ben Bradshaw warned GPs might have to deal with dental work if patients struggle to find a local  NHS dentist.

The NHS Information Centre figures do however show that number of patients seen in the 24 months ending December 2008 (27.3 million) was an increase on the numbers seen in the 24 months to September 2008 (27 million).

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