NHS dentists in Wales are being discouraged from working in poorer areas because of the way they are paid.
Under the NHS Dental Services Contract, started in 2006 in Wales, dentists are paid an annual amount for work which is broken down into units of dental activity.
The payment is the same whether a dentists does one or more similar procedures.
This means there is no incentive to take on high needs patients as they would be paid the same amount for doing more work.
This is a particular problem in areas of deprivation where poorer access to dental services already exists.
An inquiry by the National Assembly’s Health, Social Care and Sport Committee found replacing the contract targets with a new system would be better for patients and dentists and boost morale for dentists.
The Committee also looked at waiting times for orthodontic treatment and ways of improving these.
Progress with the Welsh Government’s Designed to Smile programme was welcomed but the Committee would like to see the oral health programme extended to older children.
The Welsh Government is considering the report.