JUST ANNOUNCED: Back Labour’s plan to rescue NHS dentistry

Keir Starmer being interviewed

Under the Tories, NHS dentistry is in decline.

Millions of people are unable to get the appointments they need and one in 10 are even attempting their own DIY dentistry.

That’s why Labour has pledged to provide an extra 700,000 urgent dentist appointments and reform the NHS dental contract, as part of a package of measures to rescue NHS dentistry.

Over 40,000 children went to hospital to have teeth removed in 2021 and 2022 and tooth decay is the most common reason for children aged 6-10 to be admitted to hospital.

Labour will put an end to this disgrace. Labour will:

  • provide an extra 700,000 urgent dental appointments and reform the NHS dental contract
  • offer incentives for new dentists to work in areas with the greatest need, so that those who need an appointment will be able to get one.
  • introduce supervised toothbrushing in schools for 3-5 year olds, targeted at the areas with highest childhood tooth decay
  • shift the focus to prevention, so that in the long term, everyone who needs NHS dentistry can access it

These changes would be implemented by a Labour government alongside our mission to build an NHS fit for the future.

Announcing the package, Labour leader Keir Starmer said:

“People are finding it impossible to get an NHS dentist when they need one, with appalling consequences. Horror stories of DIY dentistry are too frequent.  

“My Labour government will not stand for millions of people being denied basic healthcare.

“To rescue dentistry from the immediate crisis, we will provide 700,000 more appointments a year to those in the most urgent need, recruit more dentists to areas with the most severe shortages, and protect children’s teeth. 

“But my mission-led government will always do more than fix the basics. We will reform the dental contract to rebuild the service in the long-run, so NHS dentistry is there for all who need it.”

The plans will cost £111 million a year in total, and will be funded by abolishing the non-dom tax status.

You can add your name to our petition here to show that you back Labour’s plan to rescue NHS dentistry.