Access to NHS dentists

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It’s rarely a top priority for people and I don’t often receive correspondence on the issue, but when you push people on to the subject of dental services you hear many of the same criticisms. It’s too hard find a dentist; the available ones are too far away; the local dentist is now private and the fees are unaffordable.

Many people go years without a basic check-up, or have given up altogether on trying to find a dentist.

The figures show that it’s children who are the worst affected by this situation. Recent statistics have shown that 42% of children did not visit an NHS dentist last year. There were 45,224 cases of children aged from infancy up to 19 who needed hospital treatment because of tooth decay in 2016/17.

I’ve been questioning the Government recently over the adequacy of dentistry provision. You can see their full response below, but I find the suggestion that 41% of adults didn’t even try to get an appointment to be striking.

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How could the NHS cope if everyone was as pro-active as we’d like, and is poor provision causing people to stop engaging unless they face a dental emergency? 

What has you experience been of local dentists? Have you struggled to find somewhere? Have you given up looking? I’m interested to hear from local residents on this issue.

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