Wait for dentist appointments in England stretches from two to three years in three months

Check-up: if you haven’t made an appointment already, don’t expect to be in this position at any time… probably for the rest of your natural life.

Dental treatment in England is collapsing beneath the weight of demand.

Only three months ago, This Site reported that NHS patients were being told to wait two years for appointments. Now we learn that the wait has been extended to three.

By the time these poor souls get any treatment, they’ll probably have lost every tooth they have in their mouths!

The report by Healthwatch England confirmed that people are being advised to take private care instead – at cost.

Back in February, the same organisation reported that people were being asked to pay £1,700 to private practitioners for treatments that would cost £60 on the NHS.

Other findings in the latest report include:

  • People removed from the practice list for not making an appointment sooner.
  • Repeated cancelled appointments – even midway through treatment.
  • Dentists have reported that they have thousands of people on their waiting lists, with some patients claiming they are unable to even get on a waiting list.
  • Dentists shutting down or going completely private.
  • Patients being asked to wait up to three years for appointments – or six weeks for emergency care.
  • Some who called NHS 111 seeking emergency dental care were told to “use salt water” and carry on calling practices until they could find help.
  • Other patients have been told to use DIY filling kits while they wait for an appointment.
  • People being increasingly prescribed antibiotics with no prospect of a follow-up appointment to actually treat the problem.

It’s a racket, isn’t it? Blackmail.

Dentists have realised that the Covid-19 lockdowns have created huge queues for treatment that they know the surgeries they run for the NHS cannot service.

They are greedily worsening this bottleneck by closing NHS practices, forcing people either to pay a fortune for private care or face a future of pain and possible disfigurement as their teeth decay.

Perhaps it will serve them right when they find that the victims of their scam can’t afford to pay them; and consider even NHS prices to be too expensive:

The watchdog warned that even when people can get access to dental care on the health service, three fifths (61%) of people deem treatment too expensive.

Healthwatch England has called for sweeping reforms to NHS dentistry to avoid harm to the dental health of the UK as a nation.

Fat chance.

The Department of Health has said it is committed to ensuring everybody can access affordable, high-quality dental care.

But it has said nothing about how it will achieve this miracle in the face of dental practitioners’ unwillingness to co-operate. Its spokespeople have been able to talk about only what they did in 2019-20.

You can bet Boris Johnson’s corrupt crew won’t do anything at all for the rest of us. They can afford dentistry, after all.

Anybody who voted for the Conservatives voted for their own teeth to rot out of their head.

Source: People in England ‘face three-year waits for dentist appointments’ | Dentists | The Guardian

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11 thoughts on “Wait for dentist appointments in England stretches from two to three years in three months

  1. El Dee

    I can’t understand this. I don’t live in England anymore, I’m in Scotland now. I have never once had a problem getting an appointment emergency or otherwise. I have been able to switch dentists when I need to and know plenty of other people in different towns and cities who also have no problems. So what is so different in England?

  2. Jeffrey Davies

    Brown was the start of culling the dentistry
    But Tories have culled the once proud NHS
    Through their privitizing of it

  3. Paul Atkin

    “or face a future of pain and possible disfigurement as their teeth decay”…and death. Dental problems were formerly a major cause of mortality, presumably from untreatable abscesses. Now, to be untreatED abscesses.

  4. kateuk

    Unfortunately there is only one NHS dental practice in my are, with huge waiting lists/backlogs, I have been forced to go to a private practice as I have a lot of ongoing problems that would be made worse by waiting. Luckily I can afford it (at the moment) but many people can’t. It’s a disgrace.

  5. Jenny Hambidge

    Is Wales any better Mike? My previous dentist (private) has gone , and there are no local dentists NHS and nothing in a 20 mile radius that I can find. I live near you, I have heard anecdotally that dental care is very difficult to access -the Cinderella of services.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      No, Wales is no better, in my opinion.

      I lost my dentist around two years ago now. I just received notification that my next appointment had been cancelled and they would notify me when I would get a new one. I waited… and waited… and phoned them… and eventually I was told that I had been removed from their patient list. No reason, beyond the fact that one of their dentists had left and they had not filled the position.

      It is a travesty. Fortunately I take pretty good care of my teeth, and they’re naturally very healthy. But something is bound to go wrong one day soon, and there are no NHS dentists within 50 miles of here.

  6. disabledgrandad

    Pay or pain that’s what Tory voters have caused! I hope they never need NHS dental because it won’t be there and you have done and it will only get worse it will soon be like in America.

    Still think the Tory scum are doing a good job? Then please show me where, what have they done to make the UK better???

  7. Audrey Pool

    My daughter recently spent three days in agony due to a wisdom tooth coming through at the wrong angle.Phoning 111 resulted in no help just advice to phone around dental practices in the area.This was a pointless exercise,no appointments ,no places and no help were forthcoming other than advice to phone 111.Tried them again and was told there was no emergency cover in the area that day and to phone back the following day which we did and were told there was a 36 hour wait for any appointment but despite being in agony she wasn’t bleeding enough to qualify for one of these.Advice take some painkillers.This is just disgusting,what on earth is going on with our nhs?There’s no dental care now,how soon until this extends to no medical care too?

  8. jezzabeauc

    I cannot even get on a local dentist list. The NHS ones round here have 2 year waiting lists just to be accepted. The one I was using I cannot get to as I am now reliant on public transport which will not get me there. I have lost so many teeth through the past year and I am using a temporary plate on the top which is so uncomfortable. Eating is getting to be a real problem. There is no way I can afford private dental fees on Universal Credit and to be honest talk about a rip off. A friend is being charged £300 for a crown. Private dentists charge the same sort of fees as lawyers. There is a real need for NHS dentistry in the UK especially with so many new benefit claimants because of lockdown etc. We are seriously being failed by dentists in the UK.

  9. Catherine Lynn Jenks

    I’m lucky. When I needed dental work I found a local dentist who treated me quickly – but it cost me £265 for two temporary false teeth! I had to pay this because I had to have two infected front teeth removed and I’m too vain to walk around showing my gums to the world. But there are thousands who are not so lucky, who can’t ‘find’ that kind of money. And while I was in the surgery last week I heard the receptionist tell a caller that thet weren’t taking on any more NHS patients. A friend of mine has been told that her dentist of twenty-odd years no longer supports NHS patients. Her choice is to go private or look elsewhere. This has got to stop.

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