A survey has found the majority of NHS dentists in the West of England are not able to offer appointments to new adult patients.
98% of NHS practices across the South West, including the West of England, were not accepting new patients, according to the research from the BBC and British Dental Association.
The survey also found that of the practices that were not taking on new adults in England, only 23% had an open waiting list, and 16% said the waiting time was at least a year.
Incidents of DIY dentistry, including people using superglue to stick homemade teeth to their gums, are increasing as local people cannot see their dentist, the Healthwatch England watchdog has warned.
Commenting on the survey results, Metro Mayor Dan Norris said it showed the Government was “putting the future of NHS dentistry at risk” and that he had heard of people pulling out their own teeth.
Mayor Norris said: “This is a report that is as shocking as it is damning. Thousands of West of Englanders are unable to get a dentist when they need one. This is even forcing some to resort to DIY dentistry, including pulling out their own teeth without anaesthesia. That’s an absolutely desperate situation for someone to be in. I’m afraid this yet another example of how the Tories are putting the future of NHS dentistry at risk. The exodus of dentists has happened under their watch, leaving people unable to get any care at all. Enough is enough. Ministers must bring forward a long-term strategy to address the workforce crisis and reform the broken NHS contract system once and for all”.