People have been sharing their stories of dental woes on the Examiner’s Facebook page after it was revealed a new free scheme is coming to Kirklees.
A massive shortage of NHS dentists has left local people struggling to find treatment – so they were delighted to read charity Dentaid is to visit Dewsbury to run free clinics for people with dental problems but no dentist to treat it.
Hilary Fletcher said: “Everyone needs a dentist. I have a good one. It took a while but I got one.
“After a couple of years of maintenance I have had only six monthly call backs for years now and really good desired cosmetic work. It’s totally necessary healthcare.
“A GP once told me that poor dental health usually equals some sort of depression.”
Sarah Newton said: “Me, my husband and seven year old son all travel over an hour to Otley to our NHS dentist as no-one local is taking on.
“I asked our village dentist to go on a waiting list but they said they don’t want NHS and I could go private. They would not even just take my son.”
Lesley Frowen said: “My neighbour has been trying to get an NHS dentist but because he needs wheelchair access no-one will take him.”
Humaira Azmi said: “My dad was in so much pain and I had to call 111 who put me through to several different departments. Finally I was told to ring his GP and tell them to refer him to community dentists, like Locala. “The GP knew this but were hoping someone else would refer him.”
Anne Veronica Steward said: “It makes me sad and angry that it’s come to this. Have the contracts for NHS dental work made this problem?”
And Liz Price added: “What a fantastic idea, as in this day and age it’s the vulnerable who can’t afford.”
Dentaid’s mobile dental unit will be visiting six locations over the next two weeks, including Dewsbury, Mirfield, Ravensthorpe and Thornhill Lees.
The clinics, which start in Savile Town today (Monday), will provide emergency pain relieving treatments including extractions and fillings along with oral health advice and teeth screening.
Treatments are free and people will be able to turn up and wait to see the dentist.
The project has been funded by the Dewsbury and Mirfield District Committee which awarded Dentaid a £7,060 grant.
The volunteer dentists will be led by dentist Nick O’Donovan from Dewsbury Dental Centre.