‘Two year wait’ for NHS appointment forces patients to opt for DIY dentistry
More than seven in 10 are still struggling to access dentistry as patients continue to carry out DIY dentistry, a watchdog has revealed.
Additionally, patients are being told to carry out DIY dentistry due to this lack of availability.
In the latest findings published by Healthwatch England, it concluded that access issues still plagued the country at the end of 2020.
Analysing concerns voiced by the public between October and December 2020, the report shows:
Some people who looked for dental treatment were told they would have to wait. The times cited were anywhere between two months and two years for an appointment
Others called more than 40 dental practices in a bid to find an NHS dentist
Patients resorted to pulling out their own teeth as a result of access troubles.
Quick fix DIY dentistry
The watchdog also reports that dentists are advising people to buy dental repair kits to treat themselves.
Last December, Healthwatch released a report that showed calls and complaints about dentistry increased by 450% over the summer.
And in one case of DIY dentistry, a patient was recommended to use a nail file to manage the sharp edge of a broken tooth.
In addition, patients are being told they can be treated privately if there are no NHS appointments available.
Nearly three in five (58%) expressed negative views about dentistry, compared to 51% in the preceding three months.
However, there was an increase in the level of positive feedback regarding dentistry. For example, more than one in 10 (12%) said something positive. This compared to one in 25 (4%) between July and September 2020.
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