Resident from Snettisham shares his concerns for NHS dentists in West Norfolk after having to fill his own tooth

A West Norfolk man who had to fill in his own broken tooth as he was unable to get a dental appointment has slammed our MP’s response to the current situation.

Tony Darling, of Snettisham, said it is not just his own dental problems, but those of his family members who have also experienced discomfort, that have made him speak out.

He said: “My own experience is probably nothing to what others are going through.

People in West Norfolk are left without dentists, photo: iStock

“I did have to fill my broken tooth for a few months and just had to put up with the pain of toothache when it occurred.

“I was fortunate enough to be able to get on the register at Marham, but my immediate concern is for family and friends.”

Tony’s daughter has suffered with “terrible pain” following a toothache and he worries about the effects it has on her mental health.

“She’s been in terrible pain, cannot eat properly and desperately needs to see a dentist and has been unable to find one,” said Tony.

Mr Darling feels let down after previously contacting MP for North West Norfolk James Wild asking about when dentistry will be improved in West Norfolk.

“The silence from Mr Wild has been deafening when I have asked him just what is going on,” said Tony.

When asked for comment, James Wild said: “Making it easier to get NHS dental treatment has been a priority since I was elected.

“Having worked with the NHS, two new contracts were successfully awarded in July in Lynn and since the new practice has opened there has been strong demand, with over 1,000 appointments booked.

“However, only around 70% were delivered due to a high volume of missed appointments which could have been taken by other patients.

“I met the local NHS commissioning team last month to raise issues constituents have had in getting treatment and I was assured the practice is expecting to have more capacity available at the start of the year and the NHS is also looking at how they can invest further into dental access locally.

“I am encouraging more use of dental therapists and hygienists to deliver treatment, as well as dentistry training opportunities in Norfolk.”


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