Following on from the Fifth Senedd Health, Social Care and Sport Committee’s May 2019 report, A Fresh Start: Inquiry into dentistry in Wales, the Sixth Senedd Health and Social Care Committee is considering whether the Welsh Government is doing enough to bridge the gap in oral health inequalities and rebuild dentistry in Wales following the COVID-19 pandemic and in the context of rising costs of living.


In particular, the Committee is considering:


>>>    The extent to which access to NHS dentistry continues to be limited and how best to catch up with the backlog in primary dental care, hospital and orthodontic services.

>>>    Improved oral health intelligence, including the uptake of NHS primary dental care across Wales following the resumption of services, and the need for a government funded campaign to reassure the public that dental practices are safe environments.

>>>    Incentives to recruit and retain NHS dentists, particularly in rural areas and areas with high levels of need.

>>>    Oral health inequalities, including restarting the Designed to Smile programme and scope for expanding it to 6-10 year olds; improved understanding of the oral health needs of people aged 12-21; the capacity of dental domiciliary services for older people and those living in care homes (the ‘Gwên am Byth’ programme); and the extent to which patients (particularly low risk patients) are opting to see private practitioners, and whether there is a risk of creating a two-tiered dental health service. Workforce well-being and morale.

>>>    The scope for further expansion of the Community Dental Service.

>>>    Welsh Government spend on NHS dentistry in Wales, including investment in ventilation and future-proofing practices.

>>>    The impact of the cost-of-living crisis on the provision of and access to dentistry services in Wales.



Evidence gathering


We want to make sure that our work is informed by experiences, needs, and views that reflect the diversity of the people and communities affected by these issues.


We encourage anyone with expertise or experience of these issues to share your views, with the full knowledge that your views will be welcomed and valued.


We're currently gathering written evidence. The deadline is Friday 16 September 2022. Information about how to share your views is available on the consultation page.


We'll be holding oral evidence sessions with stakeholders, the Minister for Health and Social Services and the Chief Dental Officer in the autumn.

Business type: Committee Inquiry

Reason considered: Senedd Business;

First published: 12/07/2022