Charity dental unit brings relief to Cornwall patients

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A dental unit provided by Dentaid has brought relief to patients in Cornwall this week.

A team of volunteers from Dentaid visited St Columb Minor and Newquay on Wednesday and Thursday the 14th and 15th June respectively. The dental van, which is equipped to provide a wide range of treatments, is part of a fleet of seven mobile units. Dentaid is working across the UK and overseas to treat patients who wouldn’t otherwise have access to a dentist.

Access to dental services has become an issue of growing concern in Cornwall in the last decade. There is a shortage of NHS dentists and it has become increasingly difficult to find surgeries that are offering NHS dental places. Even those that are accepting new patients have long waiting lists.

Mandy Francis is one of those who benefited from the Dentaid visit in St Columb Minor. She hasn’t seen a dentist for seven years, despite multiple attempts to get appointments and register with an NHS practice. Before her appointment, Mandy said she was excited to finally be getting the treatment she needed and described the visit as a ‘blessing.’ She had previously been told that she would have to travel to Devon to get an appointment, which wasn’t possible.

The Dentaid clinics were paid for using community funding. Councillors decided that paying for Dentaid volunteers to provide services was a good use of the money and they are hoping to secure more visits in the future.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said that ministers are working with the NHS to try and boost capacity in Cornwall and other parts of the country.

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