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Where have all the NHS children's dentists gone?

So….number one son has broken his two front teeth! Yes they are his big teeth.

It all happened the moment after I made the classic risk assessing parental statement:

“Don’t swing on that chair, you might fall and hurt yourself”

I turned around to continue washing the dishes when there was an almighty crash and the rest, as they say, is his story of him picking up two large bits of front teeth off the floor!

I was beside myself! I didn’t know what to do. If it was his arm or leg I would have called the NHS helpline and possibly gone to A and E but with teeth…..what do you do at 7 in the evening?

I confess to being a bad parent and not actually having a dentist for him. Although it’s not for want of trying, I’ve been attempting to register number one son with a dentist for a long time, he is on a lot of dentist’s waiting lists in our area – some of them are 3 years long, some 2 years, it’s hard to know what to do.

‘Where have all the dentists gone?’ could be a modern day protest song in itself! The more parents I talk to I find that they’re in the same situation with children on long waiting lists or alternatively they pay privately for their treatment hopeful that a new NHS dentist might open in the area. Surely there has to be a better system than this. What is the problem? Are we generally short of dentists or are we just short of dentists who will give NHS treatment? What can we do about it?

In our case I was incredibly grateful that I could call 111 the next morning and be directed to an emergency dental clinic in our local city. The dentists there were absolutely brilliant and will see him through his emergency treatment. I’m not sure what we’ll do after that but we’ll take one step at a time.


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