Dentists raise concerns over NHS dental care in open letter

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A group of dentists has raised concerns over NHS dental care in an open letter, which has been published by The Telegraph.

In the letter, which has been signed by hundreds of dentists from around the country, concerns about access to NHS dental care and working conditions for dental professionals have been flagged up. Dentists are keen for the government to invest more in services to plug a funding gap and enable more patients to see a local dentist without a significant wait. There are worries that the UK is falling behind, with charities, including Dentaid, stepping in to help people who can’t get a dental appointment.

Dentaid hosted its first free dental clinic in West Yorkshire two years ago and the charity has since run more clinics in the area, as well as touring other counties, including Hampshire, Buckinghamshire and Cornwall with a mobile dental unit. It is also believed that Remote Area Medical, a charity based in the USA, wants to start running temporary clinics in the UK based on success at home.

A recent investigation into access to NHS dental services revealed that 1 in 6 areas have no practices currently accepting new dental patients.

The list of more than 400 signatures was collated by West Yorkshire dentist, Dr Tony Kilcoyne, who is adamant that the government needs to act quickly to make dental care a priority and stem the rising tide of dental issues, particularly among children. Decay, a largely preventable condition, is the leading cause of childhood hospital admissions. Dr Kilcoyne said that the country is in a “terrible situation” and a growing number of people are relying on charities to get the care they need.



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