Does of NHS dentistry was already in

Does your Socioeconomic Status have an Impact on your Oral Health? History of NHS Dentistry ‘No society can legitimately call itself civilized if a sick person is denied medical aid because of a lack of means’ –Aneurin Bevan Ever since the NHS was enforced in 1948, it is undeniable that oral health in the UK has drastically improved. Pre- NHS, throughout the UK, dental decay -as well as sepsis- was extremely common, partly as a result of the expensive, and therefore generally unobtainable for the average UK citizen, treatment options. Although treatment options at this time were fairly limited in comparison to what we have the potential to experience nowadays, the skills of the dentists in removing teeth were comparable of today’s standards, particularly in the art of removing and making false teeth (see Figure 1). This technique would have been particularly desirable as fillings during the first half of the 20th century was expensive, resulting in many preferring just to have the tooth removed.1 In order to combat this, in 1948, as part of the new NHS, dentistry was introduced as being an important and vital component. It involved Britain’s dentists signing up to deliver afee-for-service treatment plan, whilst allowing them to retain an independentbusiness status. Overall, this service was a success, dentists first madecomplete dentures to rid people of their pain, and then began to reduce theimpact the high levels of disease were having by filling teeth in the place ofextractions.1 In 1968, the first adult dental health survey took place and even though the structure of NHS dentistry was already in place, the legacy of disease and extraction was still rife.Practically half of the population had no teeth at all, even amongst the veryyoung, around 37% of England and Wales were edentate.2  By 1978, thesefigures had dropped considerably, generations of people who had lost all theirteeth were being replaced by a new generation who had their natural teethfilled in place of an extraction, all thanks to the NHS. It is indisputablethat the NHS has had massive achievements since its enforcement in 1948,especially in those first 30 years leading up to 1978 where the populations’oral health was found to not only function better but look better than inprevious decades. In the early 1970s, there was a widespread introduction (and along with this high level of marketing) of fluoride toothpaste, something which is known to reduce the risk of dental caries (see Figure 2). This evidence is not found to be as prominent in adults as it is in children, and so it is therefore not a surprise that when the first children’s oral health survey took place in 1983 there was a discovery of sustained reduction in the dental decay of children’s’ teeth in the UK.3 In 2009, the levels of the UK population that was dentate was rising, the total percentage of the combined populations of England, Wales and Northern Ireland that were dentate was 94% (dentate= had one natural tooth). The NHS was working smoothly and of 58% of adults that tried to make an appointment in the three years preceding the 2009 adult dental health survey, 92% were successful in receiving and attending an appointment. Previously to 2009, patient demand increased and changed in nature regarding new generations aspiring to have a higher standard of care and appearance but there was very little direction provided to the population as to how they should take responsibility for their own oral health. However, by 2009, provisions were made to provide more sufficient direction when it came to people protecting and improving their own oral health at home. The demand of people desiring a higher standard of oral health was probably a contributing factor to the steadily increasing number of people cleaning their teeth regularly- when asked 75% of adults said that they cleaned their teeth at least twice a day and a further 23% said that they cleaned their teeth at least once a day.2 Yes, it is without a doubtthat the introduction of the NHS in 1948, positively impacted the nations oral health as a whole, but it would be wrong to say that everyone’s oral health was, and is, on par. Even today with the NHS having being in full swing for 70 years, there are still people who remain edentate or with significant numbers of dental caries.  When you look closer at these statistics though it is arguable that trends become apparent, those with a lower socioeconomic status appear to have worse oral health. Your socioeconomic status (SES) is a measure of not only your income but also your educational attainment, occupational prestige, and subjective perceptions of social statusand social class. As it encompasses quality of life attributes as well asprivileges and opportunities given to people within society, it is thereforesafe to say that it is both a consistent and reliable indicator of certainoutcomes a certain person may experience in their lifetime. However, not everyone would agree with this idea, arguing that there are other factors that can contribute to the quality of your oral health and, in fact, there is not sufficient proof that your socioeconomic status can actually determine your oral health standards. They would argue that particularly after the introduction of the NHS, socioeconomic status should be shown to have little to no impact on the quality of your dental health based on the fact that the NHS provides the nation with affordable dental care for all. So the question is does yoursocioeconomic status have an impact on your oral health or is it down to otherfactors? DefinitionsSocioeconomic Status (SES)- A measure of not only your income but also your educational attainment, occupational prestige, and subjective perceptions of social status and social class.Social class-Educational attainment-Occupational prestige-Social status-Dentate- Having one natural toothEdentate- Having no natural teeth Why I have chosen this topic? For my Extended Project Qualification, I decided that I wanted to focus on the topic of oral health, more specifically how someone’s’ socioeconomic status (SES) could potentially have an impact on their oral health. I chose this because the standard of someone’s oral health has the potential to greatly impact a person’s overall health, and if there is a major determinant that is affecting it, then it should be brought to the attention of people. This would be in the attempt that they become more aware of this and therefore have the opportunity to minimise the impact. Of course, if there is a correlation between a person’s’ socioeconomic status and their standard of oral health, someone wouldn’t be able to solve the problem by altering their SES but if there was an increase in awareness for this issue, then possible alternative solutions could be put forward.Another reason this topic area particularly intrigued me was because dentistry is an area that I am interested in studying at university and by researching this for my EPQ, I have been able to expand my knowledge in a way that really interests me as well as incorporating skills that I may need later on at university. For example, essay writing skills, analysing data critically and detailing a conclusive opinion. My aims and objectives In this project I hope to adapt certain skills I already have in preparation for ones that may be required at university, these could include essay writing skills, time management and citing and referencing. These are all vital skills that will be incredibly useful later on in life.Hopefully, I will be able to gain a more in-depth knowledge into the study of dentistry whilst also gaining a greater understanding of how