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NHS dental crisis at ‘breaking point’ as 84% of practices in Milton Keynes cannot take new patients

A recent study has revealed how the NHS dental crisis is at breaking point, with 84% of local practices unable to take on new adult patients.

Practices are having to prioritise the vulnerable and those who urgently need care, meaning that families are now having to wait over a year for appointments and people are often left until suffering agonizing pain.

This crisis is a result of the Conservative Government’s underfunding of dentistry. It has been reported that the Government are only providing 50% of funding needed to care for every patient, meaning half of the population is left without an NHS dentist.

Councillor Jane Carr, Liberal Democrat Progressive Alliance Cabinet Member for Public Health, said: “It is despicable to hear that it is the norm for patients to wait until they are in desperate need of care before being seen by a professional. The NHS dental crisis really is at breaking point and yet the Government are failing to tackle the issue head on.”

This is a nationwide issue; people are left with no choice but to make do and turn to home dental repair kits. The cost-of-living crisis will only make matters worse and forking out on private fees is not an option for most, as subsidised rates are crucial to low-income families.

Dentists are now calling for more investment from the Government.

Councillor Emily Darlington, Labour Progressive Alliance Cabinet Member for Healthy Communities, added: “Having healthy teeth is about regular appointments with the dentist, especially as a child. Instead people are living in pain and are going to A&E with severe issues or trying to deal with them at home. After 12 years of underfunding by the Government, the service is in crisis and people cannot get a dentist. The Government must act now before more and more dentists walk away from the NHS.”


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