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Dental Contract Reform in England

The government is committed to introducing a new prevention-focussed NHS dental contract. A contract that increases access to NHS dental services whilst preventing dental disease as well as treating it.

The current NHS dental contract, with its activity-driven system, does not acknowledge improvements that have been made in oral health over the decades. It also does not drive future oral health improvements.

The dental contract reform programme is now working with over 100 NHS dental practices to transform services and bring prevention to the heart of every NHS dental practice.

The aim of this programme is to:

  • encourage patients to take responsibility for their oral health, with the support of the practice team
  • reduce the amount of necessary remedial dental work
  • prevent future dental disease

Patients still have access to the full range of clinically necessary treatments available on the NHS.

The programme introduces a clinical pathway that provides patients with oral health assessments. These assessments help to identify any future risk of disease, self-care plans and preventative advice.

Follow-up Oral Health Reviews are provided where needed to check on progress or to provide preventative treatments such as fluoride varnish.

You can find out more about contract reform on the GOV.UK website or by reading our quick guide to Dental Contract Reform (PDF: 164KB)