A much needed NHS dental practice in Builth Wells will remain open, Powys Teaching Health Board has confirmed.

Powys Teaching Health Board said it will take over direct provision of dental services in Builth Wells when the My Dentist service ends at the end of August.

The Health Board aims for the transition of services to be “as quick and smooth as possible to cause the least disruption to patients."

Powys Teaching Health Board acknowledges that recruiting dentist in rural areas such as Powys is "becoming difficult" but investment in a mobile dental unit has "significantly" help improve local dental care.

In response to the announcement, Kirsty Williams AM said: “I am pleased that Powys have acted decisively in this matter.

“It is vital that people in Builth and the surrounding communities have access to a dentist close to home and I agree that this is the best way of achieving this.”

Following public outcry, a petition was launched by the AM for Brecon and Radnorshire last week urging Powys Teaching Health Board to save the Builth Wells dental practice.

The petition has more than 500 signatures, and calls for “action to protect and enhance” the dental provision in the town and for the local health board to take “immediate action to secure a new and improved” service.

“I want to say thank you to the hundreds of people who signed my petition on this issue which helped demonstrate the strength of feeling, locally, on this matter,” said Ms Williams.

“I will continue to fight for better dental provision across Brecon and Radnorshire.”

Ms Williams said her preference is to employ a salaried dentist at Glan Irfon Health and Social Centre following a meeting with the dental director and the head of primary of care at Powys Teaching Health Board.

The developments come after My Dentist announced earlier this month that it will leave Glan Irfon on August 31. It blamed increased running costs and difficulties recruiting dentists.