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Your spotlight on local services

Community Dental Services in Barking and Dagenham


Healthwatch Barking and Dagenham are exploring residents' experiences accessing and using Community Dental Services.  We need your help to find out about the standard of these services that are offered to the most vulnerable residents in the community– we need your views, both good and bad, to identify good practice and to influence change. 

Community dental services provide specialised dental care for individuals who usually cannot use regular dental services, and are usually only available by referral from health care professionals. Eligible people include:

  • Very anxious children with extensive untreated tooth decay.
  • Children with certain medical issues, learning or physical disabilities, or both.
  • Children who require specific treatment.
  • Children residing in foster homes, receiving residential care, or listed as "at risk."
  • Adults with complex needs including adults with moderate and severe learning and physical disabilities or mental health problems.
  • Adults who require additional dental care due to medical issues.
  • Housebound and homeless people.

Sadly, Barking and Dagenham has one of the highest rates of tooth decay in both London and nationally - 29.4% of our 5 year olds have experience of dental decay.* Moreover, studies have shown that there are socio-economic and ethnic inequalities linked to oral health** and given that our borough is one of the most deprived in London, and almost half of residents were born outside of the UK**, the services of community dental care has never been more important.

Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust provides community dental services in North East London. Community dental services are offered to people of Barking and Dagenham at health centres both inside and outside the borough, as well as in care homes and at home for those who are housebound.  They also promote oral health in nearby community centres and schools.

We want to find out about your or your loved one`s experiences of using Community Dental Services, ranging from making an appointment, to the care that you/they received. Your opinions will enable us to make recommendations to decision makers and your voice will be heard, so get involved and tell us your story. You can share your experience online or by calling us on 0800 298 5331.

* https://fingertips.phe.org.uk/static-reports/child-health-profiles/2023/E09000002.html?area-name=Barking%20and%20Dagenham

** https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/inequalities-in-oral-health-in-england/inequalities-in-oral-health-in-england-summary#:~:text=Socio%2Deconomic%20inequalities,-The%20most%20researched&text=Inequalities%20in%20dental%20decay%20were,in%20inequalities%20in%20periodontal%20disease.

*** https://www.lbbd.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/statistics-and-data/barking-dagenham



Healthwatch Barking and Dagenham
Lifeline House
25 Neville Road
Dagenham, Essex RM8 3QS