Tariq Drabu, Dentist and Leading Manchester Specialist Oral Surgery Provider, Supports Urgent Review of Wisdom Teeth Guidance by NICE

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Tariq Drabu says that the current state of affairs is "untenable and must be reassessed"

Tariq Drabu Manchester Dentist

Tariq Drabu Manchester Dentist

When I investigated this matter I was totally shocked to find out that back in 2000 the NICE appraisal committee members did not even have one dentist or oral surgeon on their panel.

Tariq Drabu, leading Manchester dentist and specialist oral surgery provider, has today issued a warning that current NHS guidance regarding the management of removal of wisdom teeth must be urgently reviewed.

Tariq Drabu was speaking in response to a recently published article in the British Dental Journal which highlighted the need for review of the guidance and suggested that the issuing of the guidance back in 2000 has actually not saved the NHS any money but has in fact over time cost it more. Tariq Drabu who is registered with the General Dental Council (GDC) as a specialist in oral surgery said "the removal of impacted wisdom teeth is one of the most commonly conducted surgical procedures on the NHS and it is right that from time to time guidance to clinicians should be issued. Unfortunately the guidance that was issued on this matter by NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence), the body which advises the NHS, dates back to the year 2000 - that makes it 12 years old now."

Tariq Drabu went on to say "when I investigated this matter I was totally shocked to find out that back in 2000 the NICE appraisal committee members did not even have one dentist or oral surgeon on their panel. I find this to be little short of astounding."

Commenting on the recent article published in the British Dental Journal, Tariq Drabu, who has taught, trained and mentored over 500 dentists in oral surgery over the last 20 years, supported both its findings and conclusions. He said "In my day to day clinical practice I have noticed a steady increase in age of patients presenting to have their wisdom teeth out. Whereas perhaps 20 years ago these patients would be in their late teens or early 20s, they are now presenting a whole decade later. As the patients get older their surgery becomes more difficult. Also as patients get older they may have more medical complications. Both these factors lead to an increase in morbidity for patients. Many patients end up losing two teeth instead of one because the impacted wisdom tooth causes decay on the tooth in front of it, the lower second molar. The NICE guidance was supposed to save the NHS money. I was appalled to learn that costs for the removal of wisdom teeth in the hospital sector are now more than when the guidance was introduced. It shows that the NICE guidance has failed and is failing."

Tariq Drabu criticised some Health Trusts and hospitals for interpreting the guidance far too rigidly, thus penalising patients. He said "many trusts won't fund the removal of wisdom teeth unless NICE guidance is rigidly followed. This has led to patients suffering unnecessarily in acute pain and discomfort. This should not be what health care is about."

Tariq Drabu who is the clinical lead for NHS Heywood Middleton and Rochdale and NHS Oldham CATS primary care oral surgery services has called for NICE and the Department of Health to urgently reevaluate the current guidance.

Tariq Drabu concluded by saying "the current state of affairs is untenable and must be reassessed. NICE and the Department of Health must commission an evidence based review of their guidance to dentists as soon as possible."

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