The government is proposing to increase dental charges by five per cent, which will mean a routine check-up costs £22.70. Net government expenditure in England on dental services has dropped by £550 million in real terms since 2010.

Over the same period, charges have increased by more than 30 per cent. The Oral Health Foundation branded the price hike an appalling decision that will significantly impact public health.

They say that the increased charges will hit the poorest communities the hardest and lead to more people avoiding trips to the dentist.

Since 2010, the cost of NHS dentistry has shot up by more than 30 per cent, while government spending on English dental services has dropped by £550 million over the same period.

Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation, said: “The cost of visiting an NHS dentist is increasing far beyond that of inflation.

“We have seen these price rises develop over many years and we fear it will soon push many of the population to breaking point.

“A significant U-turn needs to happen to make NHS dentistry more affordable. It is clear however, that the government continues to see it as a cash cow to prop up other areas of the health service.”

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