How does Brexit affect my teeth?
So the United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union … at some stage … when someone decides to invoke article 50. The percentage difference may have been small but it meant that over a million people more voted to leave.
A few weeks later the implications of that decision looms large and are only just coming to light. This is a post about how leaving the EU might have an impact on your oral health care.
Now, your teeth may be the last thing you worry about or even think about when it comes to this issue. Oral B may be a German company but I am pretty sure that they will find a way to continue to sell us toothbrushes! That applies to smaller European manufacturers as well.
The main issue that people may not have considered is how this impacts their dentists. The general consensus is that if you use a private dental practice then you shouldn’t have a problem. In fact some commentators are saying that the private dental sector will thrive in the next few years as some people may wish to transfer from NHS dentistry to private practises.
This may have the added benefit of requiring private dental arts to become more competitive as people shop around which may mean that prices may be reduced to gain new clients. So over the next few years it is worth keeping an eye on what the prices are in private clinics in your area.
The general consensus from experts on NHS dental care is also positive. Sara Hurley the CDO for England has said that moving forward; Brexit will not affect NHS dentistry. She also points out that numbers will still increase over the next few years because people will continue to keep coming to Great Britain, from countries other than the EU.
The British Dental Association has said that it is watching Brexit closely to see what happens. They do not believe that dentists trained in the UK will have a problem. In a discussion panel on their website said that people who work alongside dentists like nurses and secondary support that could be affected. Also, British born dentists are less inclined to work in Urban priority areas and these gaps tend to be filled by foreign dentists.
There are 40,000 registered dentists in the United Kingdom. Out of that number 7,000 were trained in other countries. If foreign dentists are forced to leave then these areas could be seriously impacted, especially when you consider the link between poverty and tooth decay.
Brexit is very much the great unknown and it seems as though how you look at it depends on if you are a glass half empty or glass half full type of person. It is very important right now that the right people get involved to steer the country in the right direction. It will be difficult but there is a lot of potential for this to be a positive thing for Great Britain rather than a negative one.
I know that for some people who voted no to staying in Europe wanted industry to return to Great Britain. I personally don’t see that happening. However, there is great potential for young people to take advantage of the situation and get training in jobs that are needed. For example, if the country did rely on people outside of the UK doing secondary jobs within the dental industry why not train people up from the country. This could be a great opportunity for young people to break away from difficult areas and find meaningful careers.
There is also a huge opportunity for the more academically minded to become trained as a dentist. So there you have a report on Brexit that is not all doom and gloom!