DENTISTRY PROVISION ON THE ISLAND NEEDS TO BE DOUBLED ACCORDING TO NEW REPORT

The lack of dentists on the Isle of Wight has been dubbed one of the Island’s biggest health inequalities.

An investigation from Healthwatch Isle of Wight found nearly 1 in 4 people who responded to their questionnaire had been told to register with dentists on the mainland as no Island practice was accepting new patients.

In the 24 months leading up to the end of 2019, only 54.2% of children and 50.6% of adults had accessed a dentist and it was increasingly difficult to find one, a meeting of the Isle of Wight Council health and social care scrutiny committee heard.

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One respondent to the survey said:

“Every single appointment has been cancelled an hour before.

“I desperately need multiple tooth extraction and dentures, unable to eat properly.

“My teenage son has not seen a dentist for almost five years since we moved to the Island.”

The watchdog is also cautious about the effect poor dental health can have on people’s quality of life, leading to serious and devastating consequences on their diet, confidence, ability to work and maintain relationships.

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The data demonstrates, Healthwatch said, that the entire local population are not accessing dental services anywhere close to the recommended intervals and that the current Island provision needs to be close to doubled to provide the level of dentistry required.

Joanna Smith, Healthwatch manager, has said:

“This is one of the biggest health inequalities the Island faces.

“If you have the money you can get treatment tomorrow, if not you cannot and it is only an emergency.”

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The report says people have told the watchdog they have gone into debt to pay for essential dental care, people have had to decline or in some cases not seek treatment as it is unaffordable to them.

Emergency dentists have also become a concern, with people reporting difficulty accessing the service, resulting in some people living in extreme pain.

Councillor Karen Luccioni said she had had terrible toothache for over a year before she was forced to get the issue sorted privately but in that time 3 dentists left the practice before she was seen.

Although it is a national issue, Healthwatch said it was important to note that travelling to another county for a dentist is not something many Island residents can do as it is not practical nor affordable, further compounding the issue. Healthwatch say it has repeatedly raised concerns with NHS England, which commissions the dentists on the Island but were initially dismissed, but over the years the issue has only deteriorated.

In its report, Healthwatch said it has now been told there is a lack of provision and a new oral needs assessment will need to be completed but ‘it is not a current priority’.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Bay Winner
Bay Winner
12 days ago

The Pinks and the Ball family will not worry, They will have private treatment for all their families health care and education too.

So they will happily build more homes, knowing but not caring it will add to the misery for the ‘masses’.

Terry
Terry
12 days ago

Instead of concentrating on building houses, selling them cheaper than equivalent mainland ones, thereby encouraging an influx of people onto the island, concentrate looking after the health and wellbeing needs of the indigenous population.
But then each new house built generates an average of £1500 a year to fund our council.
10000 ( projected target ) new houses equals 15 million per year.
Buys a lot of dentists, just saying.

Gorob
Gorob
12 days ago

If people could use any dentist and they used a national database to upload all the treatment information x-rays etc. then anyone could walk into a dentist and ask for an extraction or a filling, most people know what they need. A checkup could always be done AT THE SAME TIME, or just walk in for a check up, obviously pay and then its added to the database.
INSTEAD you have to spend an hour on the phone trying to get through. The Dentist wont treat ANYTHING unless they have charged for a check up first then they REBOOK ANOTHER appointment to do the work. Its such a waste of time no wonder nobody can get the treatment they need.

Sir Digby Chicken Caesar
Sir Digby Chicken Caesar
Reply to  Gorob
11 days ago

Exactly, I paid £25 for 5 minute sit down to be told I had an infection, I think I knew that already. And was told by the so called dentist that “We don’t remove Wisdom teeth”, erm are they fully qualified or what. I wasn’t even offered an x-ray, even after I asked, Disgusting was to carry on. I won’t name the place but it was in Shanklin, and is where you get sent if you phone up for emergency treatment. I still have the tooth and it is grumbling again, but I will not go there again for sure.

plato
plato
12 days ago

The lack of dentists, or access to a dentist, is one of the biggest shameful elephants in the room here on this island. I have tried multiple times over the last 5 years to access a dentist due to low level tooth pain and have been totally unsuccessful. Appalling lack of NHS care.

So I just live in pain. Great.

Davimel
Davimel
12 days ago

It’s a shame that one of the biggest and best NHS Dentist was bought out by a private company and we NHS patients were thrown out within a month. I had a three month treatment plan completed in 29 days and have had problems ever since! It’s just a money grab out there and hundreds of NHS patients are at the bottom of the queue.

Stumpy Dave.
Stumpy Dave.
12 days ago

I used to get a check up every six months .I’ve been told it’s now every 18 months .absolute farce .

isle of wighter
isle of wighter
Reply to  Stumpy Dave.
11 days ago

you can get a check up every six months if you wish to pay

Stumpy Dave.
Stumpy Dave.
Reply to  isle of wighter
11 days ago

I thought I did ,with national insurance deducted from my wages .

Biggus Dickus
Biggus Dickus
12 days ago

Can we please stop commissioning reports to state the obvious and do something about it already !!!

isle of wighter
isle of wighter
11 days ago

and there we have it – clearly stated that islanders are being asked to register on the mainland for dentists because there aren’t enough here and the dimwit council keep on allowing more houses to be built, which just makes the problem worse.

Miss sensible
Miss sensible
11 days ago

Let’s hope the planning committee see this before they give permission to keep building…..
Westacre oh yes they are planning a Doctors surgery!!!!!
Good luck with getting a Dr or 2 !!!!!!
The island needs to cope with the people that live here before they build build build ……
And not forgetting Dentists Doctors Nurses and our 1 Hospital…….
The island infrastructure just will not cope ….
Alas Money talks….
People’s health and well being should take priority…
Oh and of course where are the jobs…..

Kev
Kev
11 days ago

We do not have enough dentists on the Island, this is a recurring story, just like we don’t have enough Police, Fireman, Doctors, only one hospital, Poor road infrastructure, lousy connections to mainland etc etc.
Then STOP building more houses until the fundamental problems of this Island are sorted out. Encouraging more people to the Island on mass will make life even more challenging.

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