‘I’m spending hundreds on my teeth because I can’t find an NHS dentist’

Retired pub owner Thomas Mein, 67, said he hasn’t been able to eat from one side of his mouth because he couldn’t find an NHS dentist to examine a problem with his teeth after moving to the East last year Riding of Yorkshire.

“I’ve tried to get a place, but everywhere I’m told they either don’t have anything or I’ll have to wait at least two years, with waiting lists of 600 people. I have a crown issue and it’s very sensitive,” he said.

“I’ve paid my taxes all my life, but it seems private fostering is my only option.”

According to the Conservative Dentists Group, a lobbying organization, the situation is expected to get worse as an “urgent staffing crisis” causes shortages across the board and a “zip code lottery” for patients.

Dentist availability varies widely across the country: North Lincolnshire has the lowest number, with 32 dentists per 100,000 people, according to the NHS, compared with the average of 42 across England in 2020-21. The highest rate was in South Tyneside with 77 dentists.

Private dental care is considerably more expensive than NHS treatment. Depending on the clinic, patients pay up to £5,000 for braces, e.g. B. £500 for dentures, £400 for a root canal and £200 for a wisdom tooth extraction.

NHS treatments fall in price brackets of £23.80, £65.20 and £282.80. Treatments in the first volume include check-ups, adjustments, and polishes. Fillings, transplants and extractions are in the second, while the third is reserved for treatments such as fitting dentures, crowns and bridges. There is also a fourth tier for emergency treatment, with the cost of urgent care being capped at £23.80.

A spokesman for the NHS said it had taken “unprecedented action” to support dentists. He added that in January the health service provided £50m to support patients in urgent need of care, as well as income protection for practices “who are unable to perform their usual level of activity”.

Having trouble finding a dentist in the NHS? Share your experience in the comment section below ‘I’m spending hundreds on my teeth because I can’t find an NHS dentist’

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