Will differences in opening times lead to dental tourism in the UK?

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Dentists in England are worried that differences in opening times in different parts of the UK will lead to dental tourists travelling over the border to get an appointment.

Dentists have been told that they can reopen in England from June 8th, but professionals in Wales and Scotland are still waiting for the green light. 

The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock announced that dentists in England can start to see patients at high street practices from Monday June 8th, but some are worried that discrepancies between different nations will increase pressure on services in England.

A group of dental practitioners in England has written to Mr Hancock to express concerns about an influx of patients arriving from different parts of the UK. The British Association of Private Dentistry also accused Mr Hancock of springing the reopening date on dentists and of overseeing “continued mismanagement” throughout the crisis. 

While practices are reopening in England, urgent care hubs will continue to operate across the UK to provide emergency dental care for patients in need. Anyone who needs help for a dental injury, for example, will be able to get an appointment at a local urgent dental centre. Patients have been advised to be patient when contacting dental practices in the coming days and weeks, with many set to tackle urgent cases before resuming routine services. It could take several months for clinics to get back to ‘normal’ in terms of the treatments they provide and the number of patients they can see per day.

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