Children in care are almost twice as likely to have teeth extracted under general anaesthetic, according to a recent survey.
The University of Glasgow compared data from 622,280 children currently or recently in care across Scotland and it found that 49% of children don’t regularly attend the dentist.
The study also found that 9% of children in care have had a tooth extracted under general anaesthetic, compared with 5% of those not in care.
‘Children in care are facing hospital extractions in such numbers because dentistry has been treated as an optional extra,’ Michael Cranfield, Community Dental Services chair, said.
‘This research adds to a growing body of evidence on the UK care system where the oral health needs of vulnerable patients – both children and adults with additional needs – have simply been disregarded.
‘The Government has a duty to provide structure to these children, many of whom come from chaotic backgrounds.
‘The onus is on the authorities to ensure all their health needs are met.’