(Image: George Glinos/SWNS)

New figures from Labour unveil a concerning state of NHS dental services, with 54% of surgeries refusing new patients. The data also highlights that 82% of these surgeries are declining to accept adults, and 71% are not taking on children as patients.

The personal stories of individuals grappling with the dental care crisis further emphasize the severity of the situation. George Glinos, a 68-year-old retired builder, resorted to pulling out 11 of his own teeth with pliers due to the inability to secure a dentist appointment. Living on soup and facing challenges in eating, George’s financial constraints prevent him from affording private dental care.

Another case involves Richard Howe, 58, who traveled to Ukraine for dental treatment after being unable to secure an appointment with the NHS. Faced with a dental abscess, Richard found the cost of private treatment in the UK prohibitive, prompting him to travel to Kyiv, where he previously lived. The expenses in Ukraine, including travel costs, were significantly lower than the UK quote.

Lucy Bodycote, 44, resorted to DIY dentistry at home after facing neglect at her local practice during lockdown. She drained fluid from an infected gum herself and subsequently took legal action against the dental surgery, securing a £15,500 out-of-court settlement.

Fay Rayward, 44, attempted to pull her own tooth with pliers after being unable to get a dentist appointment. Despite seeking help on social media and being in excruciating pain, she resorted to DIY dentistry, illustrating the crisis individuals face due to delays in emergency appointments.

These personal accounts underscore the urgent need for attention and reform in NHS dental services, as patients endure pain and resort to drastic measures amid the growing crisis.

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