Dentist gaps filled in Devon

MORE than 60,000 people in Devon have seen an NHS dentist in the past five years.

Health chiefs have revealed the huge number and say they’ve filled a gap that has seen nearly 20 per cent more people receive dental treatment from the NHS.

That figure, which includes Sidmouth and Ottery St Mary area residents, now stands at 426,000 across the county.

NHS Devon says one of the main reasons for the huge increase is a dental advice helpline.

Andrew Harris, responsible for dentistry for NHS Devon, said: “Some people still have the view that they cannot get access to a NHS dentist – but this is simply not true in Devon.

“We have 38 practices throughout the county that are taking new NHS patients today, including places in Sidmouth.

“While we are making great progress, we know that there is much more to do.”

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The helpline, run by Devon Dental, a not-for-profit organisation, has received an average of more than 1,000 calls a month since it opened two years ago.

Anyone who needs a dentist can call the helpline on 0845 0020034, or e-mail devondentalhelpline@nhs.net.