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Montgomeryshire dental crisis raised at Senedd

Created on 24/03/2018 @ 11:26
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A dental crisis is affecting residents in Newtown and throughout Montogmrryshire, with Montgomeryshire AM, Russell George raising the issue at the Senedd.

The problem of recruiting and retaining dentists in the area has been a problem for quite a few years, but Mr George says it is now at crisis point with many residents unable to get a dental appointment.

He sponsored an event hosted by the British Dental Association to mark World Oral Health Day.

Meeting at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay this week, the event sought to raise awareness of the importance of good oral health.

Mr George also took the opportunity of highlighting the current crisis in both the recruitment and retention of dental practitioners in Mid Wales and the lack of access for new patients.

He said: “Poor oral health is often a marker for poor general health so I was pleased to be able to sponsor this event to highlight the importance of good oral health on World Oral Health Day. 
"Oral health inequalities in Wales are indicative of deeper health inequalities and worryingly, oral cancer rates in the UK have risen by a third in the last decade.
"One of the reasons for this can be late diagnosis and unfortunately, the problem is only going to get worse if access to NHS dentistry continues to be an issue.
"This is a growing problem for many people in Mid Wales with only 20% of dental practices taking on new NHS patients and some areas also see long orthodontic waiting lists of upwards of four years."

He added: "This is compounded by a recruitment and retention crisis here in Mid Wales with practice owners having to offer larger salaries to attract associates to rural areas and dentists having to register twice to practice in both England and Wales.
"This is not sustainable in the long term and I will be urging the Welsh Government to break down these bureaucratic hurdles and tackle the issues of access, recruitment and retention as a matter of urgency to resolve this emerging crisis facing dental practices in Mid Wales."

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