Why is it so difficult to get an NHS dentist appointment?


07:00 7 October 2022

The number of people unable to book an NHS dentist appointment across the UK is rising, according to reports.

The latest figures show that nine out of 10 NHS dental practices across the UK are currently not accepting new adult patients for treatment.

In Cambridgeshire, many residents said they had to wait months for routine checkups for themselves or their children.

Many more have been unable to register with an NHS dentist or have been unexpectedly removed from their register without notice. Some have even resorted to pulling their own teeth and even making their own dentures.

A Healthwatch Cambridgeshire report published in 2019 shows that between 2017 and 2018 more than 14,000 patients were turned away, with the highest figures in Wisbech and Peterborough. The figure for Huntingdon alone was 2,699.

In East Cambridgeshire, a report released this week by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found the area is one of 10 in England with the lowest number of dentists, at 0.078 dentists per 1,000 people.

In January this year, a group called Toothless in Huntingdon launched a campaign to address huge shortages of NHS treatments available across the district.

The situation seems to be getting worse and it is feared that we will soon see a generation of people with serious oral health and hygiene problems.

The Hunts Post and its sister title, the Ely Standard, along with our websites Cambs Times, Wisbech Standard and Peterborough Matters will look into the matter and we want to know what you think. Do you have trouble making an appointment or have you had to resort to do-it-yourself dentistry? What do you think of the lack of NHS dentist appointments in Cambridgeshire and what can be done? Email: katie.woodcock@archant.co.uk or alexander.gilham@archant.co.uk.


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