Powys Teaching Health Board has said it is working hard to reduce the NHS dentist waiting list – after it was revealed that almost 800 children were waiting for treatment.

In statistics revealed by the trust at the end of last year it was revealed that 794 children in Powys were waiting for an appointment.

Hayley Thomas, director of primary & community care and mental health services for Powys Teaching Health Board said that the trust was “working hard to improve access to NHS dental services”.

“We have seen some significant steps in recent weeks with new NHS dental contracts awarded in Llandrindod Wells, and Brecon,” said Ms Thomas.

“A procurement process is also currently under way for a replacement NHS dental contract in Newtown following the retirement of the local NHS practice.


“Our emergency dental service also provides prompt access to emergency treatment for adults and children with acute dental pain who do not currently have a dentist. Appointments are available by calling 111.”

Dental services in the county have been the subject of fierce criticism, especially from Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS who said “children across Powys are being left for their teeth to rot.”

“We need to see dentists for all, no matter your economic background,” said Ms Dodds.

“We also want to see per capita funding for dentistry in Wales raised to the same level as in Scotland and Northern Ireland to tackle the problem in the long term – we must not allow a whole generation of young people to be failed in access to dentistry.”

Ms Thomas responded that “this issue needs to be a continuing focus for the health board." She cited the expansion of training places in Powys including a £5000 rural living grant to encourage trainees to complete their training in the area, along with the expansion of the Community Dental Service.

“This includes the recruitment of a dental therapist who will provide additional capacity for children’s appointments, a new full time senior dental officer is due to join us in the spring, and we are recruiting a further part-time dental officer,” said Ms Thomas.

“A new paediatric specialist is also joining the team, which will mean that more complex dental treatment for children can be provided within the county reducing the need to travel outside the county for complex care.”