I’m not alone. Over 80% of dentists surveyed by the BDA have seen cases of DIY dentistry. This is the result of choices made in Westminster. We shouldn’t be seeing any of this in a modern society.
A cry for help
I was a practice owner for many years. Dental practices are small businesses that contract to the NHS. If the business fails – then there is no service to anyone.
The present contract is perverse, and it is getting harder to make it work. As our colleague Oliver Pierce explained in a piece for the Mirror, at the end of a day, exhausted from working on the frontline and looking at his UDAs completed and how far behind they are, he says: “We need a miracle, or contract reform tomorrow, to avoid staring down the barrel of £100,000 in funding clawback.” This cannot go on.
In my current role as a hospital consultant, I received a referral from a local dentist.
The note from the dentist read ‘I don’t know what to do with this patient. I’ve got a 6-month waiting list. They are in pain, and I can’t offer the treatment they need. There used to be seven dentists in the practice, now there are only two.’
This was a cry for help and shows the severity of the access issue we now face.
Three-year olds with dental sepsis
The Government has abandoned vulnerable people to chance.
They shouldn’t be developing these problems, and when they do, they can’t access dental care reliably - putting them at risk.
I am also involved in the training of young dentists, and as part of my role I reviewed case studies submitted as part of the in-career training of young colleagues across the North West of England.