Almost 400 patients present to A&E with tooth decay as they struggle to see NHS dentist in Rotherham
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During 2022/23 in Rotherham, 335 patients were seen in accident and emergency (A&E) with a dental abscess caused by tooth decay, and 55 with dental cavities. Across the country last year, 67,000 patients attended emergency departments with tooth decay.
The British Dental Association (BDA) said half of dentists in England report having reduced their NHS commitment since the start of the pandemic by 27 per cent on average.
Analysis undertaken by the BDA indicates unmet need for dentistry in 2022 stood at more than 11 million people, or almost one in four of England’s adult population.
Nearly six million tried and failed to get an appointment in the past two years, and 3.6 million did not try because they thought they could not secure an appointment.
Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey said: “Patients across Rotherham are being denied an appointment at an NHS dentist when they need it most.
“People are being forced to go to A&E with tooth decay because they have nowhere else to turn to.
“Labour will rescue NHS dentistry from this crisis, so people can get an appointment when they need one.”
The government said it is committed to improving access to dentistry, having already introduced a range of measures in England and will soon publish a plan for further improvements.