MORE than 2,000 people are on the waiting list for an NHS dentist in south Ceredigion according to Plaid Cymru.

The party carried out a Freedom of Information request and found that 2,511 people in south Ceredigion were on the waiting list for an NHS dentist in the Hywel Dda University Health Board.

They said that there was not data for other areas of Ceredigion.

The information follows a BBC investigation which found that none of the dental practices in mid and west Wales were accepting adult NHS patients in 2022 and that the health board lost 20 NHS dentists between 2018 and 2022.

Cefin Campbell, MS for mid and west Wales, asked First Minister Mark Drakeford: “In Ceredigion and across the whole of mid and west Wales, we’re facing an emergency in NHS dental provision.

“There has been a lot of talk recently about a ‘two tier’ dental system in Wales – those on NHS and those reliant on private care. However, it’s increasingly clear a third tier is emerging – those unable to access or afford any dental care at all.

“With the cost-of-living crisis intensifying, the Welsh Government needs to accept that private dental care is not an acceptable alternative for many families and needs to urgently review access to NHS dental provision.”  

Mr Drakeford responded: “Last year, just under 1 million people in Wales received NHS dental treatment. There were well over 1 million treatments on the NHS, and that included 155,000 additional NHS patients because of contract reform, 20,000 of those shared between Hywel Dda and Powys health board.
“So, while there are undoubtedly challenges in the field of dentistry, and a lot more ground that we need to gain, actually, it's fewer and fewer, not more and more, Welsh citizens who are needing to find treatment elsewhere.” 

The state of dentistry was recently highlighted in a report by the Senedd’s health and social care committee, which highlighted underfunding of NHS dental provision and a lack of clarity on how many people are waiting to see an NHS dentist.