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'Dire' lack of dentists prompts self-medication

A "dire" lack of dentists has led to people "self-medicating every night", an MP has said.

Barrow and Furness MP Simon Fell said his constituents included seven-year-olds who had never seen a dentist and pregnant women who could not get an appointment.

“That simply is not good enough," he said.

"I now have constituents who have not seen a dentist in years," he said.

“There are pregnant mothers who are unable to make their appointments, constituents who are self-medicating every night because they cannot find care, seven-year-olds who have never seen a dentist and constituents performing their own dental care with packs they buy from Boots the Chemist."

Mr Fell told Parliament dental practices had told him they were unable to recruit enough dentists, especially in "rural, isolated areas such as mine".

He had been told the process for bringing in dentists from overseas "does not meet demand" and the administration for recording patient care, and the resulting payment to dentists, was "long-winded and overly complex", he said.


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Source: BBC News, 3 May 2023



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