The tooth hurts - 7000 gnashers out in year

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It’s the root-ine trip that many of us abscess about but new figures show Derry dentists pulled more than 7000 teeth last year.

The Department of Health statistics also show dentists in the city carried out almost 43,000 fillings, and applied more than 1800 crowns between April 2010 and March of this year.

But Derry is some way behind Belfast - the leader of the plaque in the north - when it comes to tooth extractions, fillings and other dental work.

Last month health Minister Edwin Poots expressed his concerns about the state of the north’s oral health.

“Northern Ireland has the worst oral health out of all the UK regions and one of my key priorities will be to address that issue and close the oral gap with our neighbours.

“My Department has introduced a number of preventative initiatives, such as the fluoride toothpaste schemes delivered by the Trusts.

“I will continue to focus on preventive dental care to further improve the oral health of our population.”

A total of 42,987 fillings were carried out in the Derry City Council area last year while 7153 teeth were pulled - the corresponding figures in Belfast stand at 98,219 and 19,880 respectively.

In Limavady dentists extracted 2439 teeth and performed 13,420 fillings while in Strabane 2461 teeth were pulled out and 12,615 fillings applied.