10:49 Wednesday 20 February 2013

£330k will lead to dental appointment increase

Written byROB SMYTH

PEOPLE looking for an NHS dentist in North West Leicestershire no longer have to be ‘down in the mouth’ due to more than £300,000 funding.

The cash will be spent on additional appointments for new patients at a range of dentists across the area.

Past surveys have shown that people living in the district have often found it difficult to find a dentist taking on new NHS patients.

As a result, the area’s NHS commissioners put in a bid to the Department of Health for extra funds and have been awarded £330,000 to increase access to NHS dental treatment.

Helen Stubbs, senior dental contracts manager for the area’s NHS primary care trust, said: “This is excellent news for our area’s patients, and we urge local people to make use of this extra funding by asking for an appointment.

“With dental problems, it’s always wise not to wait until things get worse until you get examined and have any necessary treatment.

“This funding is only available to use until March 31 this year, and it is for dentists taking on new patients to their practices, so it is not for existing patients who already have an NHS dentist.”

A helpline has been set up to assist patient to find a practice which has appointment slots available.

More information is available by calling 0116 295 7270 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

A further £240,000 has been made available for schemes to help improve dental health, such as children’s oral health projects involving school nurses and health visitors trained to discuss the need for good oral health.

This element of the extra funding also covers advertising campaigns and literature, as well as toothbrushes and toothpaste packs for Sure Start centres, where parents can get advice on family health and parenting.

Standard charges for dentistry range from £17.50 to £209.

The lesser price covers dental exams and a scale and polish with the higher price in place for when people need dental work such as crowns and dentures or even the removal of teeth.

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