HEalth bosses have unveiled 11,000 new NHS dental places will be created in Doncaster - the first for more than a decade.
Hundreds of families unable to afford dental treatment are set to benefit from the announcement which comes as part of a £2 million drive to improve oral health in the borough.
The extra cash comes as it was revealed more than 100,000 of the borough’s 300,000 residents had not seen a dentist for more than two years.
NHS Doncaster has revealed two new practices are to both offer places to 5,500 patients.
The Fieldside Dental Surgery in Fieldside, Thorne, is already open and accepting patients, while another surgery is set to open in Balby this month.
Kuljit Khehra, owner of the Thorne surgery next to the Vermuyden Centre, said: “I am delighted with the response of the people of Thorne, more than a hundred patients joined us in our first week of opening and this demand has continued as word has spread.
“The Thorne area has significant levels of poor dental health. We are keen to use our expertise to help make big improvements.”
The surgery in Warmsworth Road. Balby, is not yet taking on patients, but will be once it opens.
Residents living anywhere in Doncaster can register with either practice.
The new slots are being funded from NHS Doncaster’s £20 million annual dental budget which has been increased by £2 million since 2006.
Heather Marsh, NHS Doncaster’s deputy director of primary care said Doncaster was now second best in the country for being able to get an appointment with an NHS dentist, with 74 per cent of the borough’s population having seen one within the past two years.
Mrs Marsh said: “In March 2006 research told us that 192,000 Doncaster people had seen a dentist within the previous two years.
“Since then we have made a big investment in NHS dentistry, including funding 11 new dentists to work in the borough.
“In December 2010 we carried out the same research which that revealed that the number of people who had seen a dentist within two years had risen by nearly 30,000 to a new high of 216,000.”
Doncaster Central MP Rosie Winterton, added: “I know from my constituents how much demand there is for dental services, so I welcome the news that more people will be able to access an NHS dentist.”
Residents wanting to join either surgery should contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 01302 768550 on weekdays.