Dental patients in Sheffield still struggling to get an appointment

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Dental patients in Sheffield are still struggling to get an appointment, despite repeated calls from a health watchdog to improve the service.

Representatives from Healthwatch Sheffield continue to experience a high volume of calls from residents who cannot get an appointment with a local dentist. One patient who got in touch with the body was told they would have to join waiting lists of between 10 months and 2 years, even though they had two broken teeth.

Chair of Healthwatch, Judy Robinson, said that there was a great deal of confusion in the area because nationally, patients are not required to register with a dentist, but regionally, patients are getting mixed messages. People are finding it hard to get an appointment, even if they have been a regular patient for many years, and those who don’t have a regular dentist are being advised to join waiting lists of up to two years.

The demand for dental care has increased in recent months, as dental practices are still operating under stringent restrictions, which limit patient numbers. With Covid-19 measures in place, most clinics are working at a reduced capacity, which is making it difficult for teams to clear backlogs and make more appointments available. Dentists have urged anyone who needs urgent help to get in touch, but it could be some time before ‘normal’ services resume for patients looking to book routine appointments.

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