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Health and wellbeing is determined by a complex interaction between a person’s fixed characteristics (age, gender and genetics) and factors such as their lifestyles choices, the social and physical settings in which they live, and the wider socio-economic, cultural, and environmental conditions.

The health of the people of Plymouth compared to the England average varies across a range of measures. Although life expectancy has increased for both males and females over the last fifteen years, it’s still slightly less in Plymouth than the UK average. There’s also a life expectancy gap of over four years between some of the most and least deprived areas of the city.

A detailed analysis of the health and wellbeing of Plymouth’s residents can be found in the Plymouth Report and information on a range of health and wellbeing topics can be found in the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment.

The Plymouth Plan

Helping us measure SO1 – Delivering a healthy city in the Plymouth Plan

People in Plymouth get the best start to life with improved health, increased life expectancy, and a better quality of life

The Plymouth Plan

Helping us measure SO1 – Delivering a healthy city in the Plymouth Plan

Overall satisfaction of people who use services with their care and support (extremely or very satisfied)

Health and wellbeing

Children's health

The Plymouth Plan

Helping us measure SO1 – Delivering a healthy city in the Plymouth Plan

More people taking care of themselves

Oral heath

Plymouth oral health needs assessment

New report highlights Plymouth’s dental health needs

Good oral health is not evenly distributed in Plymouth. People living in the more deprived areas of Plymouth experience more health impacts from poor oral health. They are more likely to need urgent dental care visits and more likely to require a general anaesthetic for dental extractions.

This comes at a large cost to individuals, families and the NHS, despite tooth decay being a preventable disease. Although there are a number of primary and secondary dental services in Plymouth, waiting list and access data suggest that many people, especially those living in more deprived areas, are experiencing lengthy delays when they try to access routine NHS dental care.

There are many effective ways to keep people’s teeth and mouths healthy. Plymouth has a number of oral health improvement programmes in place, particularly for children and young people. Plymouth’s population would benefit from additional oral health improvement activity for people of all ages who are at increased risk of poor oral health, to reduce their experience of oral health problems in the future.

People in Plymouth would also benefit from increased access to routine and urgent NHS dental care to manage existing dental problems before those problems impact upon everyday life.

The report was presented to the Health and Wellbeing Board on 9 January 2020.

Oral heath

Dental extractions under GA in children (aged 16 years and under

Announcement of a new Plymouth report of child dental extractions under general anaesthetic (GA)

In 2020/21*, a total of 332 Plymouth-resident children had teeth extracted under general anaesthetic (GA) at a rate of 66.0 per 10,000. Between them, a total of 1,992 teeth were removed. These are the findings of the latest summary of dental extractions under GA in children (aged 16 years and under). The report provides a picture of the issues related to the dental health of children and young people locally, together with trend information over the past seven years.

Since 2014/15, a total of 22,777 children’s teeth have been extracted under GA in Plymouth.

The latest findings for 2020/21 show the rate of dental extractions ranged from 21.6 per 10,000 in Plympton Chaddlewood to 134.6 per 10,000 in Drake. The highest electoral ward rate was over six times higher than the lowest rate. Across Plymouth, the highest rates of extractions are evident in the wards to the northwest of the city with an additional pocket located central southwest.

A strong relationship exists between dental decay and material deprivation, as dental decay levels are higher in local areas where deprivation is higher. Generally children from poorer families will suffer higher rates of dental decay than their ‘better off’ counterparts. It is therefore reasonable to assume that these children will need greater support in maintaining good oral health.

The report was discussed at the Child Poverty Action Plan (CPAP) Oral Health Improvement (OHI) Strategy Group meeting on 5th October 2021. The headlines from the report were also considered at the cross party Child Poverty Working Group meeting on 6th October 2021

*Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, GA sessions with the hospital were paused mid-March 2020 and re-introduced with limited capacity from May 2020. This has effected the figures for 2019/20 and 2020/21. In 2019/20, 620 Plymouth-resident children had teeth extracted under general anaesthetic (GA) at a rate of 123.2 per 10,000. Between them, a total of 3,935 teeth were removed.

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