DENTISTS at a practice in Whitchurch have urged parents to take up the offer of free appointments for children under 12 after a first round when not in use.
Last week, practice Green-End SpaDental said it offered 36 free dental appointments to children in this age group, with staff admitting they expected to be inundated with requests.
But practice director Sheilagh Cooper said she was surprised only 15 children attended NHS appointments, at a time when they say there is a perceived crisis in dental care.
She said: “After all, the media is full of stories about ‘dental deserts’ and the ‘health care crisis’.
“But only 15 children attended NHS-funded appointments, meaning 21 children missed the chance to see a dentist at no cost to their families.
“There is good news, however – the opportunity is not lost.
“SpaDental Whitchurch reopens to children under 12 on Tuesday August 16th and Thursday August 18th.”
Practice staff said the comments they received for ‘Children’s Day’ were full of praise, including ‘great service’, ‘very professional, very calm and caring with the children’.
Dentist Adi Etugo was also singled out for praise from the comments – with his care for youngsters – and he, as a father, wanted to make it safe and accessible.
He said: “It helps kids feel comfortable and teaches them why it’s important to take care of their teeth.”
The examination of their child is free for the parents.
Additionally, if a child needs additional dental care, such as a filling or fluoride paint, Adi arranges follow-up appointments funded by the NHS.
Sheilagh added: “Still a family practice, SpaDental Whitchurch is mainly private, with a small contingent of NHS patients.
“In line with government initiatives to reduce the number of young children admitted to hospital with tooth decay, SpaDental is taking positive steps to support the oral health of children in Whitchurch and surrounding areas.
“What better gift can a parent give a child than healthy teeth?
“Access to an NHS dental appointment is a treasure.
“We hope readers can help spread the word about this great opportunity for children to benefit from NHS dental care in Whitchurch.”
Parents or guardians can apply for an NHS funded appointment at www.spadental.co.uk/childrens-day-whitchurch/