Wigan’s teeth are well cared for

Wigan has the best rate for visiting the dentist in the region
Wigan has the best rate for visiting the dentist in the region

WIGAN’S adults are among some of the best in the region when it comes to paying a visit to the dentist.

Latest figures about how often adults visited their dentist have revealed some shocking figures across Greater Manchester.

But the figures for Wigan painted quite a different picture when compared to our neighbours.

Nearly 63 per cent of adults that live in the borough have had their teeth checked between March 2010 and March 2012.

The area with the highest number of adults taking up appointments was Oldham which was less than one per cent ahead of Ashton, Leigh and Wigan PCT, which facilitates dental care in the borough.

Improving the public’s access to dental treatment has been a focus in recent years for the NHS across Wigan. And health bosses have made a particular effort to improve access to treatment and check-ups in the parts of the borough where it is most needed.

Jackie Forshaw, NHS Associate Director, said: “We are very pleased that more people in Wigan are receiving NHS dental treatment. 

“We have worked hard with local dentists to ensure that Wigan people can access NHS dentistry either in an emergency or for routine treatment.

“Local dental surgeries have benefited from increased NHS funding and this has helped reduce treatment waiting times and we have targeted funds to the parts of Wigan where they are most needed.

“Waiting times for NHS patients receiving more specialist areas such as orthodontics and oral surgery have also improved.”

Across the region the worst figures were in Manchester, where just 52.9 per cent of adults in the city had visited their dentist in the last two years.

And that figure had fallen by nearly three per cent since March 2006.

The reduction in the uptake of dental treatment is attributed in part to the economic downturn, which has seen people struggle to afford treatment.

Health chiefs also fear that the decline is a result of people being reluctant to take time off work in order to attend their appointments.

The fall also comes despite an increase in access to NHS dentistry in recent years, with more practices opening to reduce waiting lists.