Department of Health figures released to MP Andrew Stunell show a 60% increase in tooth extractions in Stockport since 2003.
According to the Hazel Grove MP, this is due to a shortage of NHS dentists in the town, leading to fewer regular inspections and treatment, and more extractions.
Commenting, Mr Stunell said: ‘There is a clear link between the shortage of NHS dentists in the area and the extraordinary rise in the number of people needing their teeth extracted under general anaesthetic. Many people are unable to afford to go private and are simply missing out on regular treatment that would save these extractions.
‘NHS dental provision for Stockport residents is in serious trouble. Many people have been struggling for a long time to find an NHS dentist, and despite the Primary Care Trust’s efforts, the situation is worsening.
‘In December, I warned that the lack of access to local NHS dentists could mean that fewer people would go to a dentist at all, with their dental hygiene suffering as a result. I’m disappointed these figures prove I was right.
‘The government’s dental contract was supposedly designed to improve the situation, but the staggering rise in tooth extractions underlines the failure of this botched initiative.
‘Now we need Whitehall action to end the neglect of Stockport residents hit by the crisis in NHS dentistry.’