Children given painkillers rather than going to dentist

Parents are routinely failing to take their children to the dentist if they have tooth trouble, a major survey suggests.

Just one in three who sought help at casualty or from a pharmacy had been to the dentist beforehand.

Academics said their study showed dental services were worryingly under-used. Some children were making multiple trips to GPs, nurses and hospital A&E instead.

The researchers from Queen Mary University of London estimate that this wastes £2.3million of NHS cash a year.

Academics said their study showed dental services were worryingly under-used. Some children were making multiple trips to GPs, nurses and hospital A&E instead

They examined the records of almost 7,000 parents who visited community pharmacies in London to pick up pain medication for a child.

In two thirds of cases the treatment was for oral pain. Yet only 30 per cent of the children had been to their dentist first.

Vanessa Muirhead, who led the research, said: ‘Children with oral pain need to see a dentist for a definitive diagnosis and to treat any tooth decay. 

'Not treating a decayed tooth can result in more pain, abscesses and possible damage to children’s permanent teeth.

‘These children had not only failed to see a dentist before their pharmacy visit, they had seen GPs and a range of other health professionals outside dentistry.’

The researchers from Queen Mary University of London estimate that this wastes £2.3million of NHS cash a year

The researchers from Queen Mary University of London estimate that this wastes

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