Almost 800,000 dental treatments carried out in Black Country and Staffordshire

NHS Digital figures revealed 789,688 treatments were carried out in the year to March – more than double the 345,867 figure recorded over the period for 2020/2021.

It means the sector is showing signs of recovery from the pandemic but the British Dental Association said the industry is still on “its last legs” and in need of change.

Dentists carried out 26.4 million treatments in 2021/2022 in England, although the organisation said it is two-thirds of the average volumes delivered annually in the five years prior to the pandemic – 39.4 million.

Eddie Crouch, chairman of the BDA, said: “What we’re seeing isn’t a recovery, but a service on its last legs. The Government will be fooling itself and millions of patients if it attempts to put a gloss on these figures.

“NHS dentistry is light years away from where it needs to be. Unless ministers step up and deliver much-needed reform and decent funding, this will remain the new normal.”

In July, clinical commissioning groups were abolished and replaced with integrated care boards across England.

In the former Black Country and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group area, a total of 638,426 treatments were delivered to patients – more than double the 283,164 the year before. Pre-pandemic data was not available.

In the former Stafford and Surrounding Areas CCG, a total of 74,944 courses of treatment were delivered which was more than double the 31,360 from the year before – but still below the pre-pandemic figure of 98,803.

Meanwhile, in the former Cannock Chase CCG area there was 71,318 treatments delivered which was more than double the 31,343 delivered the year before – but lower than the pre-pandemic figure of 99,468.

An NHS spokesman said: “The latest data show dental services are recovering post-pandemic, with over 26 million patient treatments delivered last year – up 120 per cent from the year before, along with 1.7 million more children getting seen by an NHS dentist.

“To further support the ongoing restoration of NHS dentistry, we recently announced the first significant changes to dentistry since 2006, helping practices to improve access for the patients that need dental care the most.”

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