§ Mr. Carter-Jones
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will expand the fluoride application provided by dentists to children where such application comes from their parents or guardians; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Moyle
The topical application of fluoride to children's teeth can be carried out only by a dentist or by an ancillary dental worker acting under his supervision. Such treatment therefore tends to be expensive in terms of resources, particularly manpower, in relation to the results received. Reports of benefits from such treatments vary considerably and do not on present evidence warrant the diversion of resources from other forms of treatment that would be needed to make them freely available under the general dental service of the National Health Service.528W
Some area health authorities have chosen to make these treatments available, to a limited extent, to children in their areas through the community dental services. The decision rests with the AHAs concerned, but we would expect them to have due regard to manpower and cost benefit considerations when making their decision.