Lengthy waiting lists prompt desperate Australian dental patients to fly inter-state for treatment

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Desperate dental patients in Australia are being forced to fly to different states for treatment as a result of lengthy waiting lists.

Some patients have reported waiting more than three years for treatment for painful wisdom teeth, with waiting times well above average in parts of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. A patient from Victoria said that she had been advised to have urgent treatment to remove a wisdom tooth and the neighbouring molars, but three years later, she still hasn’t managed to get an appointment and will now fly to Queensland to see a dentist.

Bundaberg resident, Marc Facer, is another patient who has experienced difficulties getting the treatment he needs. Mr Facer has now lodged an official complaint to Queensland Health after repeatedly being unable to access urgent dental care. Although he has been to the clinic several times, he has been provided with antibiotics and painkillers, rather than a long-term solution, and he is worried that he is going to lose the tooth and be put at risk of losing his few remaining teeth.

A spokesperson for Queensland Health suggested that the longest waiting time for a routine dental appointment was currently 2.5 years, but claimed that urgent appointments were available within 2 months.

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