Dentist shortage signals “broken, underfunded system” as 40 percent of patients will “do it themselves”

47 million NHS dental appointments lost since quarantine - Peter Dazeley/The Image Bank RF

47 million NHS dental appointments lost since quarantine – Peter Dazeley/The Image Bank RF

Research has found that more than a quarter of retirees fear they will have to do their own dental work, including tooth extraction, due to NHS dentist shortages.

Four out of 10 people of all ages said they would consider DIY dentistry, with the highest support among young people.

According to the poll commissioned by the Liberal Democrats, most of the public thinks they will have to pay for private dental care as appointments become harder to find.

According to the British Dental Association, more than 47 million NHS dental appointments have been lost since the lockdown in the UK alone.

Eddie Crouch, head of the BDA, said: “Do-it-yourself dentistry has no place in a wealthy 21st century country. Unfortunately, the Westminster elections left millions without options.

“Dejected dentists are moving away from a corrupt, underfunded system. And when real change was needed, the Government did little more than reorganize lounge chairs.

Prime Minister’s word

“Rishi Sunak has pledged to reinstate NHS dentistry. This slogan will remain empty as long as desperate people find themselves reaching for a pincer.”

The Lib Dem survey found that four in ten adults said they would likely have to return to DIY dentistry because they did not have NHS dental appointments.

According to Savanta ComRes research, around 28 percent of people over 65 say they will likely turn to DIY dentistry because of the lack of NHS appointments, while 67 percent say they will pay for private dental care.

Almost half of 18-34-year-olds and 46 percent of 35-54-year-olds say they will try to take matters into their own hands.

Half of parents with children under 18 will be ready to do the work themselves, compared to 37 percent of those without children.

Up to 70 percent fear they will have to pay for private dental care.

lack of resources

LibDem health spokesperson Daisy Cooper said: “This is a national scandal. It now feels like NHS dentistry is endangered in many parts of the country.

“Hard working people pay their fair share to fund our precious NHS, but the Government has failed to fund local health care. Some of that money should be spent on training more NHS dentists to ensure no one is left with a huge dental bill or turning to DIY dentistry.

The Commons health select committee has launched an investigation into dentistry after a survey showed that 90 per cent of UK practices do not accept new adult NHS patients.

In January, an additional £50m was invested in NHS dentistry to help tackle the Covid-related backlog.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We are committed to ensuring that everyone who seeks NHS dental care can get it when they need it, and we have implemented dental reforms recently to ensure this – the GP Patient Survey shows over 75 percent of people trying to get a dental appointment in the past two years. percent of patients were successful.

“In addition to fairer pay for practices that accept high-need patients, dentists now need to clarify which practices are recruiting new patients and available services, as well as supporting the entire dental workforce to work under full application. Helps improve patients’ access to dental care.

“More broadly, the number of dentists working in the NHS has grown to over 500 last year and we continue to work to improve access to dental care that is supported at over £3bn a year.”

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