South Holland has just ten NHS dentists, according to new figures.
The district’s level of dentists has been shown to be well below the national average in data released by the Local Government Association.
It is calling for the Government to reform its contract with dentists – along with the British Dental Association, which is also calling for greater investment.
NHS England (NHSE), which currently commissions dental services, says it is running a recruitment campaign in Lincolnshire while the county’s Integrated Care Board (ICB) is compiling a three year plan before it takes over control of dentistry next year.
Coun Glynis Scalese, who sits on the Health and Scrutiny Committee, slammed the district’s number of dentists.
She said: “It is disgraceful. We have more vets than dentists.”
According the figures released by the LGA, Boston has eight dentists to cover 70,837 while there are 13 for the 143,225 population in South Kesteven.
The BDA says the current contract is placing targets ahead of patient care and is calling on the Government to break way. It also says that an extra £880m a year would simply to restore resources to 2010 levels.
Association chair Eddie Crouch is calling for a ‘root and branch’ reform.
“A broken contract is forcing dentists out of the NHS every day it remains in force. Tinkering at the margins will do nothing to help the patients who need us most.”
NHS England (NHSE) says it funds more than 59,500 units of dental activity – which equate to treatments such as check ups, fillings or other dental care.
Last month the organisation said it was hope to start a recruitment process to reopen the dental surgery in Johnson Community Hospital.
A spokesman said: “Across Lincolnshire we want to recruit more dentists and dental staff for NHS services and have undertaken recruitment campaigns in dentistry schools and in the dental media to encourage more to the county.
“We have also run a Golden Hello scheme offering an incentive to become an NHS dentist in the county.”
A spokesman for the ICB said it was working with parters to attract dentists. He said: “We are in the process of co-producing a three year dental strategy for Lincolnshire with all partners and wider stakeholders, including crucially the patient voice through our work with Healthwatch Lincolnshire.
“A key focus of the this strategy is on improving access to dental services and developing our dental workforce.”