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Current services in relation to need

Adults :: Dental health in adults :: Current services in relation to need

Most NHS dental services are provided in the primary care setting. Dental services are commissioned geographically, but individuals may access any dentist they wish. Since the introduction of the new dental contract in 2006, primary care dental services have been procured in areas of need as identified in PCT's oral health needs assessments (OHNAs). There is some variation in commissioned dental activity across Kent and Medway, however the activity commissioned in Medway is relatively higher than in neighbouring PCT areas. In Medway, 1.9 Units of Dental Activity (UDA) is commissioned per resident compared to 1.2 UDAs per resident in West Kent.

The use of dental services as measured by numbers of patients seen as a proportion of the population also suggests that Medway is relatively well served compared to neighbouring areas (Figure 1). For example, NHS dental access in Medway is higher than in West Kent. In the 24 months previous to 31 March 2011, the number of patients treated in Medway represented 70% of the Medway adult population (Figure 1). In Medway, there is generally good availability of services however the challenge in Medway is mainly uptake of services. Uptake of services may be improved by raising awareness and improving the information available about the provision of services.

Figure 1: Dental access of residents in the South East Coast PCTs.
Figure 1: Dental access of residents in the South East Coast PCTs