SENIOR dentists warned today that a radical overhaul of the service will make NHS dental care even harder to find.
Ministers claimed the reforms, set to take effect from tomorrow, will increase the availability of NHS dentistry, but a survey for ITV1's Tonight With Trevor McDonald showed that dentists across the country believe the changes will have the opposite effect.
The new system is designed to be simpler and fairer but has been met with anger from dentists who claim it leaves little time for preventative work and is confusing.
Instead of being paid for each NHS treatment they carry out, dentists will be given a guaranteed income, estimated to be about £80,000 a year for three years.
* Dentists will be offered around £80,000 a year.
* A new system of simple charges will come into effect. £15.50 for basic check-up and treatment.
* £42.40 for fillings, root canal treatment or extraction's.
* £189 for more complex treatment such as crowns, dentures or bridges.
* The Department of Health argues that access to NHS dentists will improve because PCTs will able to distribute funds to where they are most needed.