Plans to make it easier for people with teeth problems to see a dentist will be discussed later this week.
A West Yorkshire-wide initiative entitled “Recall Matters” is encouraging dental practices to free up time for those who really need treatment by seeing patients with healthy teeth less often.
The scheme is aiming to challenge the current practice of patients having regular chek ups with their dentist once every six months regardless of the state of their teeth. It recommends instead that some people go only once every two years.
A report to go before Wakefield’s health scrutiny committee today said: “The purpose of the project is to work with dental practices and the public to ensure dental recall intervals between routine dental check-ups for adults fit with the guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).”
“Many people across the region struggle to find an NHS dentist, and it is believed that by extending the dental recall rate for patients with healthy teeth, there could be an increase in the availability of dental appointments generally.”
Although the report recommends that adults can leave a window of up to 24 months between routine appointments, children are still advised to go at least once a year.
However, it stresses that patients should be involved in decisions about how and when they are seen by their dentist.
The reportsaid that some patients expect a recall every six months.