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Another "universal care" failure
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, April 17, 2008

You've heard the jokes about the Brit's teeth. Well, consider this:
The full, desperate state of dental care across the country can be revealed today.

Half the population has received no dental care on the NHS in the last two years.

And thousands of suffering patients are turning up at hospital emergency departments for treatment because they cannot find an NHS dentist.
It is mostly a matter of Atlas shrugging:
Mr Lansley, who obtained the statistics, said: "These shocking figures are proof that Labour can't negotiate a contract with NHS professionals.

"Dentists are being forced out of the NHS and some patients clearly have no other option but to take their dental problems to hospital A&E, a service which is already under great pressure."
The "shocking figures" he's talking about?
In total, 23,161,368 people in England - almost half the population - received no dental care on the Health Service in the two years up to last September.

That is an increase of 840,342 - or 4 per cent - since the introduction of the contract in 2006.
So people are hitting up the emergency rooms for such care now, or, even worse:
Tory health spokesman Andrew Lansley said: "We know that there are people out there who are pulling out their own teeth because they can't find a NHS dentist."


One patient in Lancashire claimed to have removed 14 teeth using pliers.
But please, universal health care backers, do tell us how you will do it better, won't you?

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Previous Comments to this Post 

Don’t you understand that Hillbama are going to create a magical utopia in which this will not happen?
Written By: the wolf
URL: http://
psssh we all know that the gnomes will take care of it. gnomes on unicorns
Written By: josh b
URL: http://
Anyone who removes 14 teeth at home with pliers is in need of more than dental care. Of course they probably can’t get that either.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
But hey, its all free! Don’t you want free stuff? C’mon, FREE!
Written By: John
URL: http://
Gentlemen, the important thing is to have hope.
Written By: rob
URL: http://
I don’t find that statistic as bad as you seem to, but I haven’t swallowed the ADA propaganda about having to see a dentist every year (and preferably having your teeth professionally cleaned every six months).

If you brush and floss with any sort of regularity, and use a flouride containing toothpaste (or have flouridated water), odds are that you’re wasting money on yearly dentist visits.

So, half the people didn’t see a dentist? I really suspect that most of that was people who either didn’t need to, or didn’t want to. After all, other than ones that also visit their local dominatrix, how many people do you know that enjoy dentist visits?

I agree that socialized medicine is a bad thing and will result in a different form of rationing, I just don’t think that this stat proves anything, one way or the other.
Written By: bud
URL: http://
If you brush and floss with any sort of regularity, and use a flouride containing toothpaste (or have flouridated water), odds are that you’re wasting money on yearly dentist visits.

Odds are you’re wasting money on insurance premiums, that’s how they make a profit after all. In the case of regular checkups, you’re not accounting for the cavities you *don’t* get.

Closer to home, the military often touts health care as one of the big benefits. Overall, it’s pretty good, but it can be spotty. Anecdote time: I had a soldier with an impacted wisdom tooth. He was coming up on his ortho date when they told him the orthopedist wasn’t going to be available for two weeks and he would have to wait. Naturally I inquired as to whether there was any other way he could get treatment given that he was in pain. Funny thing is, when the first sergeant made the same inquiry it turned out that they could do it off-post, through a civilian provider.

Lessons I learned: 1. Under universal care, more importance means you get better answers. 2. If there happens to be an evil capitalist health care scheme next door, the state can hide its shortfalls by drawing from their capacity.

Mind you, there is one aspect of military health care that people don’t see: I haven’t missed a day of work due to illness since enlisting and it’s pretty rare to see people coughing and sneezing. I’d ascribe this to two facts: 1. the military doesn’t hire sickly people, both through self-selection and screening. 2. We all get our shots whether we like it or not, and we all get regular physical excercise.

Universal *preventative* health care might be something worth looking into. Certainly not the way the military does it, but IMHO it ought to factor more into the debates.
Written By: Ben
URL: http://
Hello admin, nice site! Good luck! Oh yes, one extra comment - make sure the pages are not too long, keep scrolling a minimum.,
Written By: name
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