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Friday, 18 July 2008

Interesting article

I found this article in the advertiser it sums up the state of dentistry in the united kingdom.

A MUM ripped her own tooth out with her fingernails because she couldn't get to see a dentist.

Susannah Houghton, 39, from Radcliffe is one of a growing number of people resorting to DIY dentistry because of a severe shortage of NHS services.

The mother-of-four was in so much pain at the weekend that she couldn't eat, sleep or talk properly and contacted her local out-of-hours service.

But she says staff told her they couldn't help until she had been in pain for 48 hours. By that evening the pain had became so unbearable that she pulled out her broken tooth herself.

Mrs Houghton was given antibiotics after returning to the emergency care centre on Sunday and had to have further treatment to remove the root of her tooth.

She said: "The pain was so bad it was driving me mad.

"I wanted to bang my head against the wall- anything to distract me from the pain - I've had four children and I've never experienced anything like this.

"I begged them to help me, but when they wouldn't I had to do something to help myself.

"I knew there was a chance I could cause an infection or have complications but the pain put those fears to the back of my mind.

"I know I'm not the only person to be driven to this, there is something very wrong with a system which leaves you in pain and without help."

A spokeswoman for Bury Primary Care Trust (PCT) said: "Out of hours Emergency Dental services are commissioned from NHS Direct and clinical sessions are provided over the weekend at the Dental Access Centre, based at Parsons Lane, Bury.

"The dentist on duty uses clinical guidelines to assess the severity of the dental problem and makes a judgement as to the appropriate course of action to take in these circumstances."

The case comes as figures reveal that health bosses have failed to provide any extra services to combat the shortage of dentists despite patients making many urgent calls for action more than six months ago.

The local health watchdog found in April that people who couldn't get an NHS dentist for themselves or their children were going without because they couldn't afford to pay for private care.

A survey of 240 people found some were travelling across the region for care with one man told to travel to Chester for an emergency appointment.

Another person with painful toothache was told they would have to wait two weeks for an appointment.

A recent report revealed almost a third of people in the north west are not registered with an NHS dentist.

And 40 per cent questioned in the survey - the biggest of its kind into dental care - said they have been forced to leave an NHS practice because it went private.

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