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Dental care is a real cavity within the NHS

PUBLISHED: 12:34 17 January 2008 | UPDATED: 14:41 07 September 2010

MORE than seven million people across the UK couldn t book an NHS appointment with a dentist in the last two years. Meanwhile, a vet in Hampstead is offering free dental check-ups ... for rabbits. It s all a bit Alice in Wonderland, but in the real world

MORE than seven million people across the UK couldn't book an NHS appointment with a dentist in the last two years. Meanwhile, a vet in Hampstead is offering free dental check-ups ... for rabbits.

It's all a bit Alice in Wonderland, but in the real world, something unmentionable has happened to NHS dentistry. In this part of the UK the problem is as bad as anywhere, if not worse.

The demand for cosmetic dentistry ensures a steady supply of lucrative private work and dentists are steadily reducing the proportion of income they earn from the NHS. The 11 per cent funding promised by the government is only a start. Only a root and branch reform will suffice in the longer term if the government is really serious about filling this deep cavity within our health service.

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