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NHS Dental Statistics for England - 2020-21 Annual Report

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NHS Dental Statistics for England - 2020-21 Annual Report

The NHS Business Services Authority (BSA) identified an error in the reporting of the number of dental patients seen figures affecting the period December 2020 to June 2021. During the period affected by the Covid-19 pandemic many dental practices began triaging patients to determine the required care. Patients who were only triaged do not meet the criteria for a patient having been seen however they were incorrectly included within the counts of patients seen from December 2020 to June 2021 and as a result the counts published within this report are approximately 0.4% higher than they should be at a national level.


The NHS BSA have corrected this reporting error and NHS Digital have republished corrected data for December 2020 to June 2021 in the NHS Dental Statistics 2021-2022 biannual publication in February 2022. 


We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused.

8 November 2021 16:00 PM

Band 2 activity undercounting: December 2019 - March 2022

The NHS Business Services Authority (BSA) have identified an error in the data provided which underpins the NHS Dental Statistics publication from December 2019 to March 2022. Some data for Adult patients in receipt of income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) who received Band 2 dental treatment were not included and therefore the published counts are lower than they should be. 

The NHS BSA have quantified the impact of this missing data and have ascertained that the missing data accounts for <3% of all band 2 activity, and <1% of activity across all treatment bands.

Please note that no other treatment bands are affected, nor are data pertaining to patients seen, or clinical activity.

Due to the scale of this issue we will not be publishing corrected versions of this data. This issue will be rectified for data in the 2022/23 Annual publication.

8 March 2023 00:00 AM


This annual report brings together information on NHS dental activity in England for the 12-month period to 31 March 2021 (including clinical treatments and dental workforce) and information on the number of patients seen by an NHS dentist up to 30 June 2021.

This publication includes information about patients seen and NHS dental activity broken down to dental practice level.

To limit COVID-19 transmissions, dental practices were instructed to close and cease all routine dental care from the 25th March 2020. The data reported in the publication including activity, patient numbers, finances and treatments, will be lower than expected during the time period of restrictions. Further information can be found in our 2019/20 Annual publication supplementary report and the Annex 5 data quality statement - see links below.

Adults Seen by an NHS Dentist

18.2m adults were seen by an NHS Dentist in the 24-months up to 30 June 2021

Children Seen by an NHS Dentist

3.9m children were seen by an NHS dentist in the 12 months up to 30 June 2021

Courses of Treatment Delivered

12.0m courses of treatment were delivered in 2020-21. A decrease of 68.77 per cent compared to the previous year.


23,733 dentists performed NHS activity during 2020-21, a decrease of 951 on the previous year

Adult Clinical Treatments

18.7 per cent of adult clinical treatments were for Scale and Polish in 2020-21

Children Clinical Treatments

46.2 per cent of clinical treatments for children were for Fluoride Varnish Treatment in 2020-21

Key Facts

Last edited: 10 March 2023 4:25 pm

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