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News / March 2, 2011

Oral health in Northern Ireland needs support, says BDA

by Guy Hiscott

The Assembly Northern Ireland elects this year must address six key priorities if it is to help dentists tackle oral health inequalities and improve the ailing oral health of the people of Northern Ireland, the British Dental Association (BDA) will warn today. 

Launching its manifesto for the May elections, Better Smiles, BDA Northern Ireland argues that the new assembly must support improvements in oral health by backing advice and prevention programmes and investing in the dental workforce to create a future with improvements in oral health at its heart. 

The BDA manifesto also says that the new Assembly must continue progress towards a new dental contract, working constructively with dentists to put in place arrangements focused on prevention and high quality care. 

Care for vulnerable patient groups in communities across Northern Ireland must also continue to be a priority, supported with funding, the manifesto says.

Stressing the importance of proportionate regulation that genuinely helps to protect patients, the manifesto also calls for the new Assembly to reduce bureaucracy and free dentistry from unnecessary red tape.

Claudette Christie, director BDA Northern Ireland, said: ‘The new Assembly needs to address the problem of persistent oral health inequalities in our population by recognising the issues that lie behind it and investing in the future.

‘The BDA manifesto sets out how the Assembly can give Northern Ireland “Better Smiles” and help dentists in communities across Northern Ireland deliver care to their patients.

‘Funding, planning and meaningful engagement with the profession will be vital in achieving this goal.’

For full details of the BDA Northern Ireland manifesto please click here.