Cornwall dentist describes Coronavirus outbreak as a ‘disaster’ as county is served by a single urgent dental hub

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A dentist in Cornwall has described the Coronavirus outbreak as a ‘disaster’ for dental care, as the county is served by a single urgent dental hub.

Jason Smithson, from the British Association of Private Dentistry, has warned that patients are facing extreme difficulties seeking access to emergency care. Practices across the UK are currently closed, with routine procedures postponed for the foreseeable future. The aim was to try and reduce the spread of the virus and protect staff and patients, but dentists are worried that patients will be unable to get the treatment they need over the coming weeks.

Dr Smithson has criticised NHS England for setting up just one dental hub in Cornwall. At present, there is an urgent care dental centre in Bodmin, but the dentist, who has been practising in Cornwall since 1997, is worried that patients will be unable to get an appointment without travelling a significant distance. The Bodmin hub will help those within easy reach and patients who can drive, but it will be difficult for those who don’t drive and those who live far away from the hub to seek emergency assistance. 

The British Association of Private Dentistry (BAPD) is a new body, which has been established to apply pressure to the government to support patients and dentists during the Coronavirus pandemic. The organisation has gained more than 6,000 members in less than two weeks. 

In light of the situation. Dr Smithson is calling for NHS England and health ministers to do more to help dental patients in the county over the coming months. A network of more 15 clinics has been set up in the South West, but currently, the Bodmin hub is the only centre in Cornwall.

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