Saturday, September 15, 2007

MiniTeeth- Wooden Gnashers Off Ration

Patriotic People's Plate before customisation

More excellent news comrades!

Thanks to the success of its visionary 10 year National Gnashers Plan, the Ministry of Teeth- or MiniTeeth as it's now known- has announced that wooden dentures will no longer be rationed.

Comrades will no longer have to undergo the lengthy and tiresome procedures involved in crown and bridge work. Instead, they will be issued with a pair of all-purpose Patriotic People's Plates.

Made entirely of melamine faced MDF, Patriotic People's Plates can be customised to suit any personal dental requirements, using only a pair of pliers and a junior hacksaw.

In use, they are perfect for all* requirements (*all except certain extreme "high stress" processes, such as drinking wet liquids, and eating).

Reality check- according to figures from the Dental Laboratories Association, since the new contract for NHS dentists was implemeted in April, there has been a sharp 57% drop in the number of complex treatments, like dentures, carried out for NHS patients. The DLA reckons financial rather than clinical concerns are driving decisions - to the detriment of patients:

"DLA chief executive Richard Daniels says that the service was "going back to the Dark Ages of dentistry"

Mr Daniels argued that his association had comments from "some of the most vulnerable" patients who had required dentures and instead were given tooth extraction.

He blamed the new contract, which does not record the specific treatment carried out.

"For example, if you had a tooth missing under the old contract very regularly you would have received a single crown.

"Under the new contract you'll be finding you'll get a one tooth denture and the cost of those are significantly different, yet the dentist's income will still be the same."

Yes, Mr Daniels has got an obvious axe, and yes, the government denies the whole thing. But regular BOM readers will recall this is not the first reported problem with the new NHS dentist contract (see this blog). And who do you believe?

The fact is that we are spending £2bn pa on NHS dentistry, yet established dentists are still abandoning the NHS in droves. Most of us don't know anyone who still has an NHS dentist.

So where is all that money going?
PS The pic shows George Washington's famous wooden dentures. Don't expect anything that good on the NHS.


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