‘It’s horrifying’ – More Doncaster children having teeth pulled out in hospital due to ‘difficulty accessing a dentist’

New data has revealed 165 children aged 11 and under in Doncaster were admitted to hospital for tooth extraction last year due to difficulties accessing a dentist.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 3:38 pm

Government data also shows that Doncaster has the second highest rate of child tooth extractions in hospitals across the whole of Yorkshire. Only Rotherham had more.

Labour has said people are finding it increasingly difficult to get an NHS dentist, as ‘12 years of Tory mismanagement of the health service is seeing dentists quitting in droves’.

Figures provided by the party say 2,000 dentists quit the NHS last year, around 10 per cent of all dentists employed in England.

165 Doncaster children had teeth pulled out in hospital last year.

They said around four million people can’t access NHS care and with some parts of the country now described as ‘dentistry deserts’, because remaining NHS dentists aren’t taking on new patients.

According to the British Dentistry Association, emergency teeth extractions are now the most common reason for children to go to hospital.

Labour is calling on the Government acts and has tabled a motion to be debated and voted on in the House of Commons, calling on Sajid Javid to bring forward a plan to ensure everyone who needs an NHS dentist can access one.

Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband said: “The situation regarding dentistry is, quite frankly, horrifying.

“Last week I heard from a constituent who has been trying to get an NHS dentist for more than two years. She has lost teeth while she has been on waiting lists at several surgeries and now needs dentures.

“Another constituent, whose carer contacted me recently, had severe toothache and lost weight from not being able to eat. He couldn’t get an NHS appointment either.

“Children in Doncaster are ending up in hospital because they can’t get the dental treatment they need.

“The Conservative’s failure to fix this crisis is putting the oral health of children and vulnerable adults at increasing risk.

“The Government must get a grip and ensure children in Doncaster can be seen on time and prevent this crisis worsening.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “We are working with the sector to safely increase activity and tackle the backlogs caused by the pandemic.

“The NHS commits around £3 billion to dentistry each year, and last year we delivered an additional £50 million to fund up to 350,000 extra dental appointments.

“The NHS is leading work to reform the dental system and is currently negotiating, with the BDA, improvements to our contract for NHS dentists to increase access for patients and ensure that working in the NHS remains attractive to them.”