§ Mr. Paul Marsden
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of the population is registered with an NHS dentist; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Lammy
Arrangements are now in place to ensure that patients can gain access to national health service services simply by calling NHS Direct. This means that even if a patient chooses not to register with a dentist it will still be possible for that patient to access all forms of dentistry that are provided by the NHS.
47 per cent. of the population, 60 per cent. of children and 43 per cent. of adults were registered with a general dental services (GDS) dentist in England at 30 April 2002. Registrations lapse if patients do not return to the dentist within 15 months.