South West dentists forced to turn hundreds of patients away every month

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Dentists in the South West are being forced to turn hundreds of NHS patients away every month due to a shortage of NHS places and dental professionals. 

Andrew Taylor, the owner of Wadebridge Dental in Cornwall, said that the practice sometimes rejects up to 20 patients a day because the region doesn’t have the capacity to cope with the demand for NHS services. Mr Taylor has wanted to be a dentist since the age of 12, but admits that his experience of working for the NHS has been very different to the career he envisaged as a youngster. There isn’t enough funding to provide the services people need, and there aren’t enough dental professionals to go around.

The South West was officially confirmed as the worst-affected area in terms of dental access when the latest NHS figures were released recently. It is estimated that around 50,000 people in the region are waiting to join an NHS register, and many patients who are able to see a dentist are forced to travel long distances. 

Mr Taylor’s practice employs both NHS and private dentists, with half of the team opting to work privately because NHS work is “stressful.”

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