§ Mr. Terry Fields
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is his latest estimate of the effects of charging for dental checks on dental attendances.
§ Mr. Freeman
The annual data on dental examinations in England and Wales from 1984–85 to 1988–89 show a gently rising trend and we expect this to continue. As might be expected, however, attendances increased in the months prior to the introduction of the examination charge in January 1989 and fell immediately afterwards. It is too early to form a definitive view about any longer-term effects.