Half of dentists in England have cut back their NHS treatment, survey shows

120522 Dentists surgery
The survey from the British Dental Association conducted the research from 1,921 general dental practitioners. Credit: ITV News

Over half of dentists in England have reduced their NHS commitment since the start of the pandemic, according to a new survey.

A study by the British Dental Association (BDA) found that 50.3% have decreased their commitment since Covid - by 27% on average.

It showed that 74% of dentists in England are looking to reduce or further reduce the amount of NHS work they do.

Shawn Charlwood, chair of the British Dental Association’s General Dental Practice Committee said NHS dentistry is "running out of road".

She said: "This is a desperate warning from this profession, as much for the opposition as it is for government. 

“NHS dentistry is running out of road. Every day a broken system remains in force we lose dentists, while millions struggle to access care.

“This crisis won’t be fixed with soundbites or tweaks at the margins. To turn the corner, we need a plan based on real reform and fair funding.”

Out of the 1,921 General Dental Practitioners in England surveyed, 43% indicate they are likely to go fully private.

Research conducted by the BDA showed that 11 million people in England have "unmet" needs in dentistry, which is around one in four of the country's adult population.

Dentistry issues have been plaguing Dumfries and Galloway in recent months, as just last week a further 5,000 patients were deregistered from their NHS practice.

The decision was made by Blue Door Dental Practice who gave notice to thousands of patients saying they will be de-registered by 1 June.

Last year saw numerous dental practices in Dumfries and Galloway withdraw their NHS services.

A dental practice in Thornhill made the decision to withdraw provision to 3,800 adult patients.

A dental clinic in Castle Douglas also announced in October the withdrawal of NHS services for its 4,400 patients from January.

Last year, Gretna dental practice also announced they were no longer providing NHS treatment to 2,400 patients.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...