Cleveleys woman says she was told dental appointment would take 14 weeks

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Barbara Terry, 77, of Ellerbeck Road, became concerned when she lost part of her tooth after a dental post, suitable to hold it in place, appeared to snap.

She also worries about receding gums and the possibility of losing more teeth.

But Barbara says when she called her dental practice, BUPA Dental Care Practice on Cleveleys Avenue, Cleveleys, she was told she would likely have to wait between 12 and 14 weeks for treatment.

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Barbara Terry has been told she may have to wait 14 weeks for a dentist appointment

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Barbara said: “I swallowed my tooth and there is a big gap left in my mouth.

“I’m also worried about the rest of my teeth. My gums are receding and I don’t want to lose any more teeth.

“I have always tried to visit the dentist and dental hygienist on a fairly regular basis.

Barbara Terry, who lost a tooth after a support post broke, has been told she may have to wait 14 weeks for a dental appointment

“When they told me how long it might take I couldn’t believe it, I’ve never had to wait that long.”

Barbara said she called back two weeks ago to see if there was a chance and get in early, but says she was told to call back next month.

Although the practice takes private patients, Barbara is on its NHS list.

She added: “It’s not like it was just a check-up, I lost a tooth and my gums are not good.

“I shouldn’t have to wait that long to be seen by a dentist.

“My concern is that dentists are trying to get rid of NHS patients and make everyone private – and then it will become harder for people like me to see one.

“I only have my pension.”

Earlier this month Healthwatch England said people across the country were living in pain because they did not have access to NHS dentistry.

The watchdog said the issues included a reduction in the number of NHS places in dental practices, coinciding with the spike in the cost of living.

The NHS body, which represents patients, said that in the worst cases some people lived in pain and were unable to eat properly because they could not find treatment, and those who could not afford a private treatment suffered the most.

Other difficulties across the country are believed to have been caused by the Covid pandemic due to a backlog of cases.

Bupa Dental Care Practice has been approached for comment.

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