Engage Britain found that more than 20% of people in the UK have accessed private healthcare.
Since the pandemic there has been a huge backlog in the availability for NHS dental care.
This has affected the BCP area massively where some residents feel as though they have no other choice than to turn to private dentistries.
Naomi, from Bournemouth, has a cognitive dysfunction and is a mother of a two-year-old daughter. She used twitter to try and further reach out to the NHS for help but unfortunately failed.
Why is it so chuffing hard to get an NHS dentist?! @NHSDental nobody local will even take my 1 year old on. it's ludicrous! we are a disabled family of 3 in #Bournemouth, somebody must have space for us on their books! #dentist
— NaomiDTK (@NaomiDTK) November 6, 2021
Naomi said: “Jay, my husband, has had to see an emergency dentist three times in the last year because of an issue he can’t get fixed, and he can only get it treated when it repeatedly gets infected, swelling his entire face.”
Two months on from the original tweet, the family has still not been able to find a dentist, Naomi explained she hasn’t had one for at least 15 years.
The latest NHS waiting list figures show that 5.6 million patients were waiting to start treatment at the end of July, over 293,000 of whom had been waiting more than 52 weeks.
According to the British Dental Association, the trade union body, in November 2021 it was found that a staggering 35 million NHS dental appointments have been ‘lost’ in England alone since the start of lockdown in March last year because of added time now being needed for cleaning between procedures.
Colin McCabb, a single father of a 13-year-old girl explained he has been searching for a dentist in Bournemouth for nearly a year.
He said: “Our registration with our dentist lapsed and in September my daughter was getting pains in her side teeth, I rung around a few local dentists but we were unable to find one that will take her on.
“I rang the NHS helpline and they instructed me to continue ringing until I found one and I think I spent half a day ringing round and I even rang as far as Wimborne and Blandford which is 10-15 miles away, there still wasn’t any available.”
Mr McCabb believes there should be a higher investment into training for dental care, especially in cities where there is a larger population.
For both Naomi’s and Colin’s cases, both having children under the age of 18, it is crucial they are registered and have access to dental care but how much longer will they have to wait?