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Conflict between dentists and Department of Health

It is an unfortunate truth of the profession that many people dislike going to the dentist. Often, people are afraid of dental procedures, or have simply heard bad things about dentistry in general. A newly-published letter from leading dentists criticising the industry, therefore, is unlikely to help matters.

A number of dental VIPs and opinion leaders, led by Dr Anthony Kilcoyne, have written an open letter to the Daily Telegraph criticising NHS dentistry. The letter claims that “the NHS dentistry system in England is unfit for purpose”.

The letter said: “The government continues to promise the public that all dental clinical health needs for the population of England are met. Yet, with compromises on a national scale, it is frankly impossible for dental professionals to deliver this.”

In a response, published on, chief dental officer at the department of health Dr Barry Cockcroft denied the letter’s claims. He said: “The improvement in oral health in this country over the last 30 years is something that the dental profession and the NHS should rightly be proud of.”

While the dentists led by Dr Kilcoyne said that a disaster is “inevitable” in NHS dentistry, Dr Cockcroft said that there is “no credible evidence” to support this suggestion. It is an unfortunate conflict between leading dentists, and there are serious worries that it will damage the credibility of dentistry in general.

In many ways, it does not matter which side of the conflict you are on. The vast majority of dentists will continue to provide the very best possible care no matter what. However, publicised conflict such as this may deter people from visiting the dentist when they should.

In order to ensure patients continue to come to your practice, you may have to turn to dental marketing to ensure that your image does not get damaged by the accusations made against the dental industry. Companies like Designer Dental can help you with your branding and image, to keep patients turning up for treatment.

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