Toothache sees man travel 220 miles for dental appointment

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A man from Spalding, South Lincolnshire, had to travel 220 miles when he had a painful bout of painful toothache as he was not registered with a dentist.

Alan Long, aged 55, attempted to make an emergency dental appointment in his home town but was unable to get one with either an NHS or private dentist.

Mr Long also tried in nearby area Pinchbeck, as well as NHS Lincoln dental helpline and NHS Direct, but was still unable to get an appointment for his increasingly painful toothache.

After failing to get treatment at several local hospitals Mr Long then proceeded to get in contact with a dental practice near to where he used to live in London, where he was finally given a dental appointment.

Mr Long said: “The fact that I had a six-hour journey from Spalding to Edmonton in London covering 220 miles just to see a dentist is truly amazing.

“All this and the nearest NHS dentist is just 700 yards away from my house. The receptionist in London was horrified when I told them what I’d been through.”

On visiting the dental practice it turned out Mr Long would require further appointments, adding to his travel headache.

“I believe there will be three to five trips to London and back during the next month, each costing £39.”

A representative for NHS Lincolnshire said patients who could not get an emergency appointment in their nearby area would then always be offered alternatives.

If appointments were unavailable within a patients close proximity they said: “The helpline would then offer dental practices further afield if the patient is able to travel.”

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