Plymouth man travels 400 miles to see an emergency dentist

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A man from Plymouth travelled 400 miles to see an emergency dentist over the Easter weekend after being unable to get an appointment closer to home. 

Daniel Duckett was advised to contact NHS 111 when he started developing severe dental pain, but he was unable to get through to an adviser despite calling several times. Daniel’s mouth started to become swollen and the pain got worse, but every time he managed to get through to a dentist in Plymouth, he was told that appointments were not available. Dentists were able to offer advice and prescribe medication over the telephone, but Daniel’s condition worsened and he could no longer cope with the pain. His partner had seen an article in the local news about a pregnant woman travelling from Exeter to Birmingham to see a dentist, and she managed to get an appointment for her husband in the Midlands.

Despite lockdown measures being in force, on Easter Sunday, Daniel felt that he had no choice but to take the 400-mile round trip with his wife and children. The dentist discovered that Daniel had an abscess, which was causing the intense pain, and treated him immediately. Daniel started to feel better shortly afterwards and is now at home recovering.

NHS England is working to set up urgent dental centres to treat patients while practices are closed during lockdown, but they are not yet up and running in every area. Recently, the organisation confirmed that a network of 15 clinics had been set up in the South West, with hubs in Plymouth, Bodmin, Exmouth and Torquay. Patients who require assistance during lockdown have been advised to contact their regular dentist, who will perform a telephone assessment before deciding whether or not to advise the individual to visit a local urgent care hub. 

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