2:15 PM August 16, 2022
A Norfolk dentist is offering two full days of free children’s check-ups to catch up with a backlog of patients.
Bridge Street Dental Surgery, in Fakenham, announced recently that it would dedicate a pair of extra opening days to looking after youngsters.
But for many parents the opportunity passed them by – as all slots were fully booked within a matter of hours.
The dentist, which is still an NHS service, now falls under the new ownership of Dr Khaldon Mohammed and Dr Aseel Salman.
They decided it was only right to try and combat growing build-up of people who have gone more than six months without a dental check-up.
Suzanne Gillespie, one of the practice managers, said the new owners had been keen to help as soon as possible.
“It has been all over the news and we are aware of the difficulties facing patients, especially parents who cannot get NHS dental care for their children,” she said.
“We want to support the community, and we thought one of the ways would be to create specific days to bring children into the surgery for a check-up.
“This is not just for children who belong to the surgery, but for any children in the town.
“Our dentists wanted to offer their services because of the thought of children going unchecked. They are parents themselves.
“We wanted to offer that vital service which other practices might not be able to do.”
Difficulties in getting NHS dentistry appointments are being seen across Norfolk and around the UK.
In May, figures published by the Association of Dental Groups (ADG) showed that, across Norfolk and Waveney, there was just one dentist for every 2,600 people.
The region had just 38 dentists per 100,000 residents.
It came as no surprise, therefore, that the Bridge Street dentist was inundated with calls after posting about its children’s check-up day on social media.
Bosses decided to offer an additional day which was similarly popular. Those with more serious issues will be booked in for further treatment.
They also hope to arrange another children’s check-up day later in the year, and beyond during the school holidays, to keep up with demand.