UK dentists are banding together to offer considerable public savings on private treatment amidst Britain’s NHS dentist shortage.
Recent reports have highlighted how desperate patients have resorted to pulling out their teeth due to a lack of NHS dentists in their areas.
Now a group of dentists who say they have been appalled by the results of DIY surgery have joined forces to offer the public access to private care at significantly reduced rates.
They have launched a web app, AP Care (Affordable Private) which allows anyone to save 20% on the cost of private dental treatment and reduce the need to wait for much-needed procedures.
Millions are struggling to access care, with nearly half of the dentists severing their ties with the NHS, focusing on private patients only, and three-quarters planning to reduce their NHS services.
It is unclear when the problems facing patients seeking NHS dental treatment will be resolved; if left unchecked, millions more patients will be left without options.
Since the first lockdown began in March 2020, around 3,000 dentists have moved away from NHS work, meaning there aren’t enough NHS dentists to see patients.
The new web app allows anyone to book private dental care for cosmetic and essential procedures with potential savings ranging from £50 on a single tooth extraction to thousands of pounds on a significant function such as full implants.
Of the 8,533 UK dental practices that hold NHS contracts, 91% aren’t accepting new adult patients, rising to 97% in the East Midlands, leaving new patients with little chance of being seen by an NHS dentist.
Dentist Jeevan Boyal, Director of AP Care, said: ‘The lack of NHS dentists has led to a huge rise in desperate patients performing DIY surgeries on themselves at home. When these go wrong, these poor people often turn up at dental surgeries and A&E departments seeking help.’
‘Like most dentists, I have seen shocking results from botched home tooth extractions and other have-a-go procedures. An incorrectly pulled tooth or a tooth that has been left too long without treatment can lead to a serious life-threatening infection, so it’s essential that patients can access the treatment they need in a timely fashion.’
‘Clearly, something had to be done. That’s why a group of colleagues and I decided to band together and launch AP Care.’
‘AP stands for affordable private, and by making private dental care more affordable, we hope to ease some of the pressure on the NHS and reduce some of the terrible results of DIY surgeries that have taken place over the past couple of years.’
AP Care offers patients 20% off the cost of private dental care, which equates to a saving of around £40 for a tooth extraction. This brings the cost closer to NHS prices while allowing patients to access dentists quickly, avoiding severe complications that might arise from delayed and DIY treatments.