HC Deb 22 November 1951 vol 494 cc545-6
16. Mr. Remnant

asked the Minister of Education how many dentists are required by the school dental service to complete its establishment.

Miss Horsbrugh

For a complete service of dental inspection and treatment, in which every child is seen annually and all children who require treatment accept and receive it, I estimate that a ratio of at least one dentist to 3,000 children would be required, and for this purpose the equivalent of an additional 1,150 full-time dentists would be needed. To get the service back to its 1948 level some 200 additional school dentists would be needed in England and Wales.

Mr. Remnant

Will my right hon. Friend take an early opportunity of consulting the British Dental Association as to the best means of overcoming these shortages?

Miss Horsbrugh

I will certainly consult with various associations on means of overcoming the shortages, which are well known to all of us in the House.

17. Mr. David Griffiths

asked the Minister of Education what steps she is taking to improve the school dental service.

Miss Horsbrugh

I intend to review the whole problem of the school dental service. In the meantime, I hope that the salary scales fixed earlier this year by the Dental Whitley Council may attract more dentists to the school dental service.

Mr. Somerville Hastings

Could the right hon. Lady say how many dentists have already been attracted by these new scales?

Miss Horsbrugh

I am afraid I cannot give that information. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman would put down a Question?

Miss Irene Ward

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the shortage of dentists is partly due to the fact that there are not sufficient training facilities for those who want to become dentists? Will she consult with the appropriate Department to see whether training facilities can be expanded?

Miss Horsbrugh

I am fully aware that there are not enough trained dentists in this country. There are not enough dentists in training because there are not enough teachers for dentistry or opportunities for people to learn.