The Dentists on ITV 1

Posted in: Blog, by kayleighb2a, on 27th June 2014 | Comments Off on The Dentists on ITV 1

– Dr Ian Wilson, Founder

I found ITV’s documentary ‘The Dentists’ last week both illuminating and upsetting. The fact that 90% of adults in the UK suffer from the pain of dental related disease, and the majority, it seems, due to our never ending battle with the fallout from the UK’s addiction with sweets and chocolates was a little hard to swallow. More upsetting was that a quarter of us put off a visit to the dentist until the pain or the consequences of that become unbearable.

To see people who, through years of neglect and pain, have allowed their lives to become a nightmare seemingly because of dental disease mirrors that of a developing world problem.

Here in the UK, dentally related diseases are the fourth most common reason people under the age of 17 are admitted to hospital, and each dental procedure involving removal of teeth due to our battle with sugar and neglect – costing the NHS £700 a time.

Now am I writing to pass judgement…absolutely not! As a member of the caring UK Dental profession I am reinforcing the message of the great work we do, and that lives and smiles are wonderfully transformed by the expertise, passion and commitment to always deliver the best dental care possible for the benefit of all patients; no matter who they are.

However, I am sad that so much pain for the UK majority could be so easily prevented by simple lifestyle choices; choices that do not exist for the majority in developing nations. We have so much here in the west but it seems the more we have the less good it seems to be for us?

I am sad that the UK majority has a wonderfully committed dental profession at their disposal and yet in developing nations millions don’t know what a dentist is, never mind have the opportunity to see one. Many in the UK having the opportunity for regular care but choosing not to seems incredible when the majority in developing nations may never get one opportunity in a whole lifetime.

Seeing the pain of a parent as her child undergoes multiple extractions reminds me of the thousands of parents I have seen who would give anything just so that their child could have that professional care in remote rural East Africa. Watching a child in pain for months but with no choices for pain relief must be agonizing; in desperation allowing the local medicine man to weave his ‘magic’ with the blunt coat hanger is surely an injustice!

So I am thankful for the wonderful profession I am proud to be a part of. I am glad that the one off documentary brought a snapshot of the amazing work we all do as members of the UK dental profession. I am ultimately so grateful for the hundreds of volunteers over the years who have also seen the chronic epidemic of dentally related pain in developing nations that savages the lives of hundreds of thousands and have walked with us in addressing the injustice that this is.

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