ONLY 11 per cent of dental practices in the region are taking on NHS patients in the next 12 months.

That is according to Llyr Gruffydd, MS for North Wales, who shared "damning” figures in the Senedd earlier this month. 

A breakdown of the data shows that in Denbighshire the figure is zero per cent, in Flintshire it is seven per cent, while in Wrexham it is 15 per cent.

The Plaid Cymru politician’s office has contacted 97 per cent of the dental practices in North Wales in order to get a detailed understanding of the dentistry crisis.

He has also launched a survey to asses the state of NHS dentistry across the region, and is urging constituents to share their views.  

This follows the decision of by Ruthin Dental Practice to stop its NHS service and go private.

Mr Gruffydd told the Senedd: “My office has contacted and spoken with 97 per cent of all dental practices across the north and, of those we spoke with, only 11 per cent are taking NHS patients on in the next 12 months.


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“The average wait for an NHS space was two years. Just over a half of them are taking children on as NHS patients, and the waiting times for NHS children can be anywhere from three months to three years, with the average being two years. Now, that's a damning indictment.

“There are those who can access NHS services, and they are very fortunate, and they're becoming few and far between. There are those who can't access NHS services but they can afford private treatment. They're fortunate, but, as we've heard, some perhaps can't really afford to pay but they have little choice.


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“And there are some - and this is a cohort that's increasing week on week, month on month - who don't have access to NHS services and can't afford to pay for private services.

“The [Welsh] Government hasn't tackled that issue, and these are the people who will pay the price not only in terms of their dental health, but for some in terms of their mental health as well. Because I come across cases of people, particularly young people, waiting for orthodontic treatment, who have been waiting a long time and it’s starting to impact on their mental health, and I do think we have to acknowledge that.


“So, I would encourage members to support Plaid Cymru's amendment to this motion and that we encourage the Government to review dental contracts, that we look at strengthening dental training provision, and that we develop a strategy to retain the current workforce because, as we see with GPs, they are leaving in large numbers and that's making a bad situation worse.”

Mr Gruffydd has launched a survey to assess the state of NHS dentistry across the North Wales region. Readers can share their experiences - good or bad.