Epilepsy Society launches 'Fix It For Free' dental campaign
A UK charity is calling on the NHS to provide free dental repairs for people with epilepsy whose teeth are damaged as a result of their seizures.
The Epilepsy Society has launched a campaign called Fix It For Free, after hearing from many people with epilepsy that they are struggling to afford treatment after breaking or knocking out teeth, sometimes on repeated occasions.
Data from a survey carried out by the charity shows that half of people who have suffered dental injuries during a seizure, have not had them repaired because they can’t afford the treatment. 69% had broken or chipped teeth, 61% had painful jaws and 31% had lost teeth.
The NHS offers a number of payment exemptions for dental treatment, such as free treatment for pregnant women, under 18s in England and under 26s in Scotland, but there are currently no medical exemptions. The NHS Low Income Scheme covers costs for some people, but 76 per cent of respondents to the Epilepsy Society survey said they were not eligible.
The charity has launched a petition that has attracted almost four thousand signatures, and is urging supporters to write to their MP to raise awareness and ask for help with the campaign. It is also asking people with epilepsy to share their experiences of NHS dentistry, as 80 per cent of survey respondents raised concerns about their dentist’s awareness of the condition and over half reported struggles with long waiting lists.
Clare Pelham, Chief Executive at the Epilepsy Society, said: