A CIRENCESTER woman who broke a tooth while eating a sweet has been left waiting three months for a dental appointment.
Isobel Sadler was eating liquorice allsorts last Sunday, July 24 when she chipped a piece of tooth.
She has now filed the tooth herself so it no longer presses against her tongue due to the wait for an appointment.
When she called her dental surgery – Chipping Manor Dental Practice in Ashcroft Road, Cirencester – she was told the earliest available appointment was October 26.
Although Isobel had a check-up already booked for earlier that month, she was told the length of this appointment would not be long enough for the tooth to be fixed.
She is an NHS patient and is unable to afford private treatment.
“I can’t afford £150 to sort this out when I could get it done for £20 or £30,” she said.
“When it happened I thought ‘what’s that in my mouth?’ and it was a little piece of tooth.
“I haven’t got any pain it’s just that food falls in the hole. If it does get food in it I’ll be in trouble but I’ll get a quicker appointment then.”
Last week, NHS England announced a number of measures designed to help improve access to dentists.
This includes a push for healthy people to have longer intervals between check-ups to free up time for more urgent cases.
The plans have emerged as part of a reformed contract for NHS dentists.
But the British Dental Association (BDA) said the measures only “paper over the cracks”.
It warned that there are no dental therapists “waiting in the wings” to step up and care for more patients, a concern shared by Isobel.
“Chipping Manor have got most of Cirencester’s NHS patients and they have only got two dentists so it’s no wonder. But I’m not blaming them, if they can’t get dentists they can’t get dentists,” she said.
After sharing her experience on Facebook, many others said they had also struggled to get appointments at NHS dentists in the town.
Chipping Manor Dental Practice declined to comment.
Isobel has learned one life lesson from her ordeal though.
“I ate a sweet I shouldn’t have. Eat lettuce, you can’t break your tooth.”