ONE in 10 dentists across Britain have rejected new Government contracts and gone private, figures have revealed.
In West Yorkshire 41 practices in West Yorkshire have refused to sign up. They amount to 4.3% of the region's dentists.
Health Minister Rosie Winterton said the figures proved that claims dentists would leave the NHS in a mass exodus were unfounded.
But the British Dental Association said "everybody" knows.
Susie Sanderson, chair of the BDA's executive board, said: "Why is it only the Government that insists everything is fine? Only Pollyanna could see this as a vote of confidence in the new system."
An Examiner survey last month showed only one dental practice in Huddersfield was accepting new NHS patients - and that had an eight-month waiting list.
The Health Secretary admitted last night it would take a while for the new reforms to bed down.But she said she was confident the new system would see more people able to gain access to an NHS dentist.
Under the new contract, instead of being paid for each NHS treatment they carry out, dentists are given a guaranteed income estimated to be about £80,000 a year for three years.
Dental charges have also been simplified into three pay bands to replace the old system, which saw around 400 separate payments.