THE number of people waiting for dental treatment in Powys has been branded unacceptable, as data shows that more than 5,000 people in the county are yet to be seen.

According to figures provided by Powys Teaching Health Board this week, 4,852 adults were on waiting lists and 314 children – meaning 5,166 of residents (almost four per cent of the county).

This comes as figures revealed by the Welsh Liberal Democrats show that nine providers – almost half of all NHS providers in Powys – returned £241,478.25 to the health board in the last financial year for underperformance against NHS contracts.

Two NHS providers also ceased their NHS commitment in 2022 or 2023 due to retirement.

“Across the country, thousands of people are being denied NHS dental care,” said Jane Dodds, Lib Dem Member of the Senedd for Mid Wales.


“They can’t see an NHS dentist for check-ups where they live, and people with dental emergencies are paying thousands of pounds for treatment, or worse still doing DIY dental work.

“Inaction from Labour ministers in Cardiff Bay means that thousands of people in Powys alone are being left on waiting lists for months on end, including hundreds of children whose teeth are still developing.

“The Welsh Government is neglecting NHS dentistry and we risk more and more dentists across the country voting with their feet and leaving the NHS if Labour ministers don’t act now.”

David Chadwick, Lib Dem candidate for Brecon, Radnorshire and Cwm Tawe, said: “The Welsh Government clearly doesn’t see dentistry as a priority.

“Week after week, Labour ministers in the Senedd bury their heads and rebut very valid concerns from the profession and from the public about the dire state of dentistry.

“The Welsh Labour government must get to grips with this crisis to ensure that people in Powys can see a dentist wherever, and whenever they need to.”

County Times:  Mid Wales MS Jane Dodds says inaction from Labour means thousands of people in Powys are being left on waiting lists for months on end Mid Wales MS Jane Dodds says inaction from Labour means thousands of people in Powys are being left on waiting lists for months on end

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We recognise that some people can’t currently access a local NHS dentist, but urgent treatment is available to everyone and we are working hard to ensure everyone who wants to, can see an NHS dentist.

“Nearly 235,000 patients who have historically not been able to get a dental appointment have gained access since April 2022.

“Despite pressures on our budgets we continue to increase funding for dentistry and have increased funding for dentistry by more than £27 million compared to 2018-19, including an extra £2m a year since last year for health boards to address local access issues.”

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The Welsh Government also says it is working to recruit and retain more dentists in Wales. This includes a new scheme, run by Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW), which offers extra support for trainees who complete their training in areas of Wales where it has been difficult to recruit new dentists.

All health boards have arrangements in place to provide emergency dental treatment, advice and support.

People seeking treatment should contact the dental helpline or NHS 111 and they will be able to be assessed whether urgent treatment is needed, or whether the patient can be seen at the next earliest opportunity during normal hours.