From April 2013 around 25 extra pilot sites are to be added to the existing 70 dental practices.
The extra sites will help fine tune different parts of the new contract that will see dentists paid for the number of patients they care for, and the health results they produce, rather than the number of courses of treatment they perform.
The ‘care pathway’ approach offers dentists guidance on treatment for their patients depending on their oral health. It will form a significant part in making sure practices are delivering quality care when the new contract is rolled out.
Findings from the early pilots, show how dentists are putting a firm focus on more preventative dental care.
Some of the pilot sites are also trialling a new self-care plan based on a traffic light system. This gives patients a rating of green, amber or red following an oral health assessment. They are then given advice on how to improve their dental health in the long term.