Dentaid addressing Dental Deserts

Over the past year, Dentaid has been asked 4 times to visit Suffolk, one of the areas in the UK deemed a 'Dental Desert'.

Why is it so bad in Suffolk?

Difficulties recruiting NHS dentists to rural and coastal areas of the UK were here before the pandemic - there were even stories of practices handing back NHS contracts pre-2020. But since COVID, it seems like this has accelerated the loss of the majority of the provision of NHS dentistry in these regions. 

In Suffolk, it is the 4th lowest area in the UK for NHS dentists - with 0.067 NHS dentists per 1000 people. Campaigners, Toothless in Suffolk, have raised the lack of access in multiple formats which have made it to local and national news as well as the House of Commons. Lack of access to dentistry has become an election issue. 

This is why local councillors contacted us at Dentaid to see how we could help. 

How have Dentaid helped?

So far, we have visited several places across Suffolk to provide emergency dental care for those who were suffering with toothache, who couldn't get to a dentist any other way. We've been to Bury St Edmunds, Leiston, Haverhill and Hadleigh, taking out teeth, providing fillings and getting patients out of dental pain.

With our amazing volunteers, each visit we have been able to see between 35-40 people a day - all in pain which clearly affects their lives every day. From children taking days off school, or people unable to work, to others unable to eat or sleep properly. 

As an organisation we are experts in taking care into communities who struggle to access care. This has traditionally been socially excluded groups, such as people who experience homelessness. But now we are seeing that the general population is struggling to access care! We are always happy to help and step in in this emergency provision - but what we provide is a sticking plaster. People need long term maintenance and access to NHS dentistry. 

See the news items below that highlight the work we have been doing. 

I am sure we will be returning to Suffolk soon... but there must be other areas of the UK also in desperate need too!  

If you have any questions about our public access clinics, please leave them in the comments below or contact us at Dentaid

You Might Also Like


Top Categories