6:00 AM August 25, 2022
A city mum-of-two has recounted the “nightmare” journey she took to get her tooth fixed after it put her health in danger.
Claire Angelina, who lives in Costessey with her partner and two children, broke her tooth at the start of the year.
The 36-year-old full-time mum said: “I used to be registered with a dentist.
“But after moving house a couple of times and going overseas to see a sick family member my dentist took me off their books.
“Back in February my tooth broke.”
Ringing dentists across the city Claire was unable to get an appointment, she added: “One said they’d get me on their NHS waiting list but it was three years long.”
After two months of struggle Mrs Angelina was still unable to get the jagged tooth removed.
However on Mrs Angelina’s birthday on March 23 her injury took a turn for the worse.
Mrs Angelina added: “I had shooting pains all over my face.
“I was in constant pain so I called 111.
“I was taking so many painkillers just to fall asleep the woman on the phone said my liver could be in danger.
“So in desperation I went to A&E at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) – only to be told to call the local dentist.
“It feels like the NHS has just been chipped away at until there’s nothing left.”
Jason Stoke, secretary of Norfolk Local Dental Committee echoed this, explaining a government contract in 2006 saw many traditionally NHS-focussed dentist leave the service.
He added: “Successive governments have failed to make any substantial changes to this contract.
“This has led to dentists moving away from the NHS reducing the access available to people.”
In April Mrs Angelina finally managed to get a private appointment at Thorpe St Andrew.
“I was an emotional wreck by the end,” she said.
“There is zero emergency dental care available in my experience.
“I’ve got friends who have been in the same position.
“There doesn’t seem to be any dentists or health centres to help those in immediate need.”