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Published on September 6, 2016

People who visit GPs for toothache cost NHS £26million

People who visit GPs for toothache cost NHS £26million

It has been revealed around 600,000 GP appointments per year are being taken up by patients who are experiencing toothache and other dental issues. This trend not only potentially costs the NHS £26m in wasted appointments, but also lengthens waiting times for patients who would genuinely benefit from seeing a GP.

But what is driving this behaviour and importantly, what can be done to encourage people with dental problems to make an appointment with a dental professional?

One motivator might lie in the perception of cost associated with a dental appointment versus GP appointments, which are free of charge. Other reasons offered include difficulty in getting an appointment to see a dentist.

But reasons aside, 93% of the UK population have successfully made an appointment to see a dental professional in the past 2 years. So what can be done to encourage them to see the dental professional at a time of dental emergency?

At a time when the health service is already overstretched, it is a dilemma facing the entire healthcare community.

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