Thousands of new NHS dentist appointments offered

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Thousands of new NHS dentist appointments offered

Tens of thousands of new NHS dental appointments are being offered to patients in one part of Wales.

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Swansea Bay health board said dental practices were « severely impacted » by Covid rules – now bosses are trying to catch up on oral care.

Dentists are expected to have seen an additional 28,000 new patients between April 2022 and April 2023.

It comes as people across Wales struggle to find an NHS dentist.

« Dental practices were closed at the start of the pandemic and then very restricted on the number of patients that could come through, » said the health board’s director or primary care, Sharon Miller.

« This new expectation puts a real focus on new patients being seen. »

Since April, 14,325 dental appointment have already gone to ‘new patients’ who have not see a dentist in four years.

But the health board urged people « not in urgent need » to be patient.

« We are working hard to change the service so we can get those new patients through the door, » Ms Miller explained.

The problems in the Swansea Bay University Health Board area are mirrored in most part of Wales.

Prior to the pandemic, just over 2.3 million courses of treatment were completed each year by NHS Wales dentists.

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