§ Peter Bradley
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients in Shropshire were registered with a NHS dentist in (a) 1990,(b) 1997 and (c) 2000; and how many remained unregistered in the same year. 
§ Ms Blears
Registrations of patients in the general dental service (GDS) began in October 1990. Registrations last for a fixed period which is renewed when the patient reattends the dentist. Initially the period for adults was 24 months while for children registrations lasted until the end of the following calendar year.
For new registrations made since September 1996, the registration period is 15 months for both adults and children. This affected registration numbers from December 1997 onwards when the first of the shorter registrations lapsed.
Registration numbers built up over the two years from October 1990. Thus registration figures for 1990 are not typical.
For Shropshire health authority, in the year 1997, the average number of registrations was 217,000 compared to an estimated population at mid-year 1997 of 425,000. In the year 2000, the registration average was lower at 186,000 because of the reduction in the registration period to 15 months. In addition, in the year 2000, 8,000 patients were seen by the personal dental service pilots which started in March 1999. The estimated population at mid-year 2000 was 436,000.678W
Many people are not registered with the dentist but choose to attend occasionally.
§ Ms Blears
General dental practitioners provide general dental services under arrangements made with health authorities. Some national health service trusts are commissioned to provide national health service dentistry but these services are a minority of what is provided within the NHS. While information on availability of NHS dentistry is not collected on a parliamentary constituency basis, every health authority in England has NHS general dental practitioners willing to treat new adult NHS patients.
We remain committed to ensuring that NHS dentistry is available to all. More treatment than ever before is being carried out by NHS dentists. Systems are in place to enable callers to NHS Direct to obtain information about where they can find NHS dentistry. We will continue to work with the profession to further develop NHS dentistry around patient needs, as part of modern primary care delivered at a local level.
§ Mr. Andrew Turner
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS dental practitioners there were on the Isle of Wight in each year since 1997. 
§ Ms Blears
The number of general dental services (GDS) dentists on the Isle of Wight is shown in the table for 30 June in each of the years 1997 to 2001.
June Number of GDS dentists 1997 38 1998 39 1999 43 2000 39 2001 40
A personal dental service (PDS) pilot, developing new ways of providing national health service dentistry, began in 1999. There were six dentists in June 2000 while in June 2001 there were eight PDS dentists of whom two also worked in the GDS.