Brits turn to private dental care amid NHS crisis

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The number of people waiting for NHS hospital treatment in the UK has reached a record high of 5.61million, as the NHS struggles to manage the growing backlog of appointments caused by the pandemic .

The NHS dental industry has been hit hard during covid, from the initial lockdown in March 2020 with uncertainty and cancellations, to the present day, with practices still experiencing the effects of the pandemic and long waiting times for dental appointment.

Analysis of the NHS GP Patient Survey found that one in four patients, or around 1.03 million people in the UK, are not on an NHS dentist’s books and have been unable to get a appointment over the past year due to the pandemic.

With people now being told to wait until 2024 for an NHS dentist appointment. While others are removed from their practice rosters for not booking appointments sooner, leaving patients feeling frustrated and neglected.

This backlog in NHS care has caused a shift in the number of people turning to private dental care. Private dental practice based in Wiltshire Dutch Barton, said they have seen mainstream adoption of the shift to private dental care since the aftermath of the pandemic.

In the UK, 2 million people were asked and assumed that there was no care available when it came to dental treatment. However, providers such as Dutch Barton aim to raise awareness of private dental services and their benefits.

They said: “We are seeing a big increase in the number of people turning to private dental care, particularly since the lockdown restrictions have eased. More people concerned about their oral health after being neglected by NHS treatment.

“We are also seeing more and more patients focusing on their appearance, and more directly on their smile, which leads us at Dutch Barton to see an increase in our cosmetic dental services with people returning to everyday life and life without a mask.”

With patients being asked to wait up to 3 years for an appointment on the NHS, private dental providers have much shorter waiting times, with practices able to offer appointments with little or no waiting time.

With over a million people in England unable to register for an appointment at an NHS dental practice and people are worried and in pain, the use of the services of private dental providers has increased and will continue to increase. increase as we continue to move ahead of recent lockdown restrictions.

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