Patients Waiting up to 2 Years for a Dental Appointment in Sevenoaks

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Dental patients in Sevenoaks are waiting up to 2 years for an appointment, it has been revealed. An investigation by a local paper claims that no dental practices in Sevenoaks and Malling are offering places to new NHS patients and one clinic advised a reporter that there was a 2-year wait for treatment.

Reporters from the Sevenoaks Chronicle contacted a number of dental surgeries in the area only to find out that none had places available for new patients. Most are opening waiting lists again in March or April, but one clinic said that there was currently a 2-year wait to register. One practice also admitted that it had not accepted any new patients for 12 months.

Reception staff at several of the clinics contacted said that a lack of funding had contributed to waiting lists.

The nearest clinic that could offer an appointment within the next 4 weeks was 11 miles away from Sevenoaks in Hadlow, and practices in Biggin Hill could also offer an appointment within 11 weeks.

A spokesperson for NHS England said that the NHS was working with clinics in West Kent to encourage a preventative approach, which would reduce the number of patients requiring dental treatment in the long-term. NICE guidelines are also being put into practice, and this means that patients who have good oral health will be advised to attend routine appointments less frequently. Dentists will be encouraged to advise patients to attend check-ups every 6-24 months dependent on their oral health status.

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