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Why Northerners could have more to smile about

Tuesday July 24th 2012

Why Northerners could have more to smile about

It's National Smile Month* so if you're worried about the costs of keeping your teeth in tip top condition, Yorkshire and Humberside are the best areas to live if you want to see an NHS Dentist with the South East and South West being the worst 1 . In Yorkshire, 98% of dentists take NHS Patients, compared to the South East where only 50% of dentists care for National Health Patients.

The demand for dental work is growing at an unprecedented rate as we have a larger ageing population. We’re living longer and younger generations continue to need preventive services and maintenance of existing dental work, meaning the NHS is struggling to meet our dental demands.

Across the country as a whole dentists say that they take only 15 per cent of patients on a private basis, in the south of England this rises to 50 per cent, leading to access problems to continuing care for those on low incomes³.

A basic check up in Yorkshire or Humberside (which includes examination, diagnosis, preventive care and X-rays costs £17.50. A scale and polish costs £40. The same basic check up in the South East with a Private dentist will set you back at least £100 and that's before any X-rays, cleaning, fillings or further work.

Barbara Russell from says "Clearly, where you live will impact your accessibility to an NHS dentist. With new research showing that more of us are cutting back on visiting a dentist because we cannot afford it, people should consider whether insurance can provide a solution. They can go on line and research competitive dental insurance. For as little as £10.60 per month, our dental benefit covers checkups, hygienist fees, fillings and root treatment. We even cover you up to £10,000 if you have a dental accident, regardless of where you live or if you see a private dentist6." recognises that while the figures show that less people visit an NHS dentist in more affluent areas, there is still a shortage of NHS dentists. Some people simply cannot afford to pay for their treatment and do not have any insurance either so they ignore their teeth. Barbara Russell concludes, "We want people smiling all year round, not just during National Smile Month. After all, research shows that smiling uses far more muscles than frowning!"


*Smile Month occurs annually, at its most basic level, the campaign promotes three key messages, all of which go a long way to improve oral health in the UK. They are: Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste; cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks and visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend. It is organised by The British Dental Health Foundation.
1D Buck & J T Newton, 'The Privatisation of NHS Dentistry? A National Snapshot of
General Dental Practitioners', British Dental Journal, 2001, 190:115-8'

 NHS Dental Statistics for England: 2009/10
³ Audit Commission Dentistry Primary Dental Care Service in England and Wales
 - A Guide to Dental Charges
 Research by HPI. The independent market research company conducted a survey of more than 1,000 people and found that just under a fifth (19%) are getting their teeth checked less often,

For media enquiries, please contact:
Sarah Potter - 07833 095 594

Notes to Editors
About is a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc - one of the UK's leading insurers. "Pinnacle Insurance plc is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority".

About Cardif Pinnacle
Cardif Pinnacle (a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc) is the UK insurance unit of BNP Paribas Cardif, which is the life and property & casualty arm of BNP Paribas.

Formed in 1971 and currently employing circa 750 staff in the UK, Cardif Pinnacle has established itself as a leading provider of Protection solutions. Cardif Pinnacle acquired Warranty Direct and Direct Life and Pension Services in 2008, specialists in the provision of warranty and life insurance products.

With an emphasis on quality of service for clients and customers, Cardif Pinnacle is a preferred partner to more than 250 of the UK's leading Banks, Building Societies, Finance Houses and Intermediaries.

About BNP Paribas Cardif

BNP Paribas Cardif ( is the Life, Property & Casualty insurance subsidiary of BNP Paribas. It develops savings and protection products and services which are distributed via diverse channels. Present in 36 countries, and with a diversified geographic footprint, BNP Paribas Cardif has strong positions in Europe, Latin America and Asia.

BNP Paribas Cardif is one of the top 10 European insurers.

In 2011, it had gross written premiums of 23.3 billion euros and 53% of its gross written premiums are generated outside France. It counts nearly 10,000 employees, 70% of which outside France.

In its commitment in Corporate Social Responsibility, BNP Paribas Cardif develops responsible products and services, supports diversity in the company, puts in place an internal environmental policy and commits itself into the economic and financial education.