NEW dental vouchers worth up to £17 are to be offered to Derby and Derbyshire patients who have not seen a dentist for at least two years for a limited time only.
The Department of Health has awarded NHS Derby City and NHS Derbyshire County £180,000 to introduce the new scheme – where patients can exchange vouchers in return for a dental check-up.
It forms part of a major government drive to improve dental access across the country and get people back into the habit of seeing their dentist regularly. Detecting problems early can mean they’re easier to treat.
If problems are not treated, they may lead to damage that is harder, or even impossible, to repair.
Teeth are also a good indicator of general health, as many diseases such as diabetes and heart disease can cause changes in the mouth that can be detected by your dentist
32 dental practices across the city and county have signed up to the scheme, which will be running from 1 March to 31 March only. Vouchers can be downloaded from the PCT’s website at www.derbycitypct.nhs.uk
Keith Mann, head of primary care for NHS Derbyshire County, said: “The opening of six new dental surgeries in Derby has made it easier than ever before for patients to see an NHS dentist in the City. We’ve also invested more than £3 million on new services in the County and set up dedicated dental helplines to give advice and support to patients in both Derbyshire and Derby City.
“Thousands of people strive to look after their bodies by keeping fit and well, yet we have a different attitude to our teeth.
“Teeth are key factors in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, so there’s every reason to look after them – and losing or damaging them can have an enormous influence on your health as well as your confidence.
“These vouchers will give people who haven’t seen a dentist for a while an extra incentive to get into good dental habits. Keeping our mouths hygienic and presentable not only offers us a helping hand in looking our best but it can help prevent many problems, not only orally but in general health as well.”
The scheme is being run at the participating dentists only. Patients are being encouraged to book early as limited appointments are available. Registration at the practice is not required, and is available to all patients who haven’t been to an NHS or private dentist for two years or longer.
£17 is the standard charge for an NHS dental check-up.