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170 operations a day to remove rotten teeth in children

BASCD joins calls to reduce sugar after new figures show thousands of children having multiple teeth taken out under general anaesthetic.

The British Association for the Study of Community Dentistry has joined the call for action to tackle sugar in response to new figures that highlight a growing number of children having multiple teeth taken out under general anaesthetic (GA).

The Local Government Association (LGA) has called for action on sugar after new figures showed that nearly 43,000 children and teenagers in England received dental extractions under GA in the last year (2016/17), a 17% increase when compared to 2012/13.

Number of under 18’s receiving hospital operations per year to remove multiple teeth 2012-2017

£165 million for children’s dental extraction operations since 2012 2

According to NHS spending data, the cost of dental extractions for multiple teeth with GA for under 18 ‘s in England was 36.2 million last year.

Hospital general anaesthetics for dental extractions are only used for the most severe cases of dental decay where it is not possible to carry out extractions in a dental surgery. Dental decay is preventable. It is caused by excessive consumption of sugary food and drink, as well as poor oral hygiene. Recent reports have raised concerns that children are consuming three times more sugar than is recommended.3 A reduction in total sugar intake is needed to help to prevent dental decay and unnecessary dental extractions.