Dental centres give bite to NHS patients

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UP to 10,000 dental patients in Doncaster will be able to access NHS treatment when two new dental practices open in the town.

The first surgery to open is Thorne’s Fieldside Dental Practice, next to the town’s Vermuyden Centre.

It will be followed by a centre in Balby.

Both are set to take on around 5,000 new patients each.

The Department of Health Chief Dental Officer, Barry Cockcroft, travelled from London to officially open Thorne’s Fieldside Dental Practice, which has two dentists.

NHS Doncaster is paying for the treatment costs of the new patients from its £20 million annual dental budget, which has increased by £2 million since 2006 to enable an additional 30,000 people to routinely see an NHS dentist who couldn’t previously access one.

Heather Marsh, NHS Doncaster’s deputy director of primary care said Doncaster was the second best place in the country in which to access an appointment with an NHS dentist.

She said 74 per cent of residents living in the town had seen an NHS dentist within the past two years.

Only Great Yarmouth in Norfolk has performed better.

She 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 research revealed the number of people who had seen a dentist within two years had risen by 30,000 to a new high of 216,000.”