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The best and worst UK areas to find a dentist

Health and Mental Health

The best and worst UK areas to find a dentist

With all the chocolate eating this weekend, spare a thought for those without a dentist…

Using new NHS data, a new study has revealed the areas in England where you’re going to be struggling the most to find a dentist. The study by GoSmokeFree analysed the NHS Find a Dentist service, mapping out all dentists currently accepting children (17 and under), adults (18 and over), and those currently accepting new NHS patients and then creating an index score for each area to determine which postcode areas struggle the most to see a dentist.

The remainder of the top ten features Bristol in at sixth place, scoring 1.33 out of 100. Bristol saw just six dentists accepting new children under the age of 17 – a rate of 0.58 per 100,000, and no dentists accepting either adults over the age of 18 or new NHS patients.

Shockingly, Ipswich managed to score 0 out of 100, with just one dentist surgery in the whole postcode area accepting only children – with none accepting adults or NHS patients. This means that there are only 0.16 dentist surgeries for every 100,000 people throughout the whole Ipswich postcode, the lowest throughout the whole country, and almost half that of the next-lowest area, Lincoln, with 0.31 dentists accepting new children per 100,000 people.

In second place is Lincoln, with a score of 0.5 out of 100. Similar to Ipswich, the whole postcode area of Lincoln only had a single surgery that was accepting new children under the age of 17, with no dentists accepting new adults over the age of 18, or NHS patients. The slightly smaller population size of 318,262 throughout the Lincoln postcode resulted in a slightly higher rate of 0.31 surgeries per 100,000 people accepting children, resulting in a higher index score.

Sunderland takes the third spot on the list, scoring 0.8 out of 100. Similar to the previous two entries on the list, Sunderland only has a single dentist surgery accepting new children under the age of 17, with zero dentists currently accepting adults over 18 or new NHS patients. The small size of Sunderland’s population resulted in just 0.41 dentists accepting children under the age of 17 per 100,000 people

In fourth place is Dorchester, scoring just 0.94 out of 100. With just a single dentist accepting children under the age of 17 for the whole postcode area’s population of 221,019 people, Dorchester was found not to have any dentists accepting new adults over the age of 18 or new NHS patients.

Too many Easter eggs may lead to the need of a dentist…

Norwich ranks in at fifth, scoring 1.15 out of 100. The first place on the list to have more than just a single dentist accepting new children under the age of 18, Norwich was still seen to have no dentists accepting new adults over the age of 18, with just four dentists throughout the whole 12,843 square miles of the postcode area accepting new children under the age of 17 – working out to a rate of 0.52 per 100,000 people.

Gloucester takes the seventh spot on the list, scoring 1.42 out of 100, While Truro ranks in at eighth, scoring 1.46 out of 100.

In ninth place is Bath, scoring 2.74 out of 100, and finally, rounding out the list in tenth place is Plymouth, scoring 3.18 out of 100. Plymouth had the highest amount of dentists accepting new patients of any entry on the list, but still only saw seven dentists accepting children under the age of 17, none accepting adults over the age of 18, and none accepting new NHS patients

Across the whole of England, there were found to be just 26 dentists accepting children per 100,000 people, 19 dentists accepting adults per 100,000 people, and just 0.86 dentists accepting new NHS patients per 100,000 people.

Greater London – perhaps unsurprisingly – was found to be the area where it was easiest to find a dentist, scoring an impressive 99.87 out of 100. Greater London was found to have 8,740 dentists accepting new children, 6,749 accepting new adults, and 342 surgeries accepting new NHS patients.

A spokesperson for GoSmokeFree:

“In terms of the rankings, there were shockingly no dentists accepting new adults over the age of 18 or new NHS patients. York, in 19th place, only has one accepting new adults over 18 and one accepting new NHS patients, along with just four dentists accepting new children under the age of 18. As a result, it was seen that over 8.7 million people lived in areas without dentists that were taking on new NHS patients – meaning that roughly one in 12 people in England didn’t have a dentist accepting new NHS patients in their postcode area.

“The results of the study show that these issues not only affect rural areas, but also have crept into more metropolitan areas too, raising questions about the true extent of dentistry’s black holes throughout the country.”

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