More than one in 10 calls made to NHS 111 in the north east are looking for dental help, according to new statistics.
Around 11% of phone calls to the helpline revolved around dental-related health problems and were referred to dentists.
The new findings, revealed at the Tees Valley health scrutiny committee, comes as communities continue to struggle to access NHS dentistry.
According to Gazette Live, Mark Cotton – of the North East Ambulance Service – say they have almost doubled the appointments available for those who have urgent dental issues.
Last month, Stockton South MP, Matt Vickers said the £50 million funding for NHS dentistry is a ‘drop in the ocean’.
The money was put aside to secure up to 350,000 extra dental appointments to help improve access. The one-off cash injection is available until the end of the financial year.
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The country has been plagued with access issues following the pandemic, with charity Dentaid being called out to areas hit the hardest.
This includes not just the north east, but also Suffolk in towns like Leiston and Bury St Edmunds.
Toothless in England, a campaign group fighting for better NHS dentistry, slammed the government for its lack of support. Co-founder Steve Marsling said: ‘We shouldn’t have to rely on charity.
‘Governments have neglected NHS dentistry for far too long…the NHS we know and love isn’t there for us anymore. It’s a national disgrace.’
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