BDA issues warning over dental access, as some patients face 70-mile journey to see an NHS dentist

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The British Dental Association has issued a warning over access to NHS dental care, as patients in some parts of the country face a 70-mile journey to see a dentist.

The BDA has warned that increasing pressure within the industry and low morale have made it difficult for practices to recruit dentists. A recent survey revealed that two-thirds of practices in England, which have tried to hire new dentists in the last year, have found it difficult to fill available vacancies.

The poll also showed that dentists working within the NHS were more likely to experience disillusionment than those working at private practices.

The BDA said that the NHS dental crisis was demonstrated by the situation in Plymouth. The Director of Public Health has recently been instructed by local councillors to request urgent improvements to the system. Currently, some patients are facing a 70-mile trip to towns across the county to see an NHS dentist and more than 9,000 people are on a waiting list to register with NHS dentists.

The BDA’s Vice Chair, Eddie Crouch, said that the situation is a “damning indictment of current policy” and added that dentists are “going above and beyond” in extremely challenging conditions. The association recently reported that up to 58 percent of NHS dentists are considering leaving the profession within the next 5 years.

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