Cost of living crisis – woman forced to choose between heating or saving her tooth

Cost of living crisis – woman forced to choose between heating or saving her toothA woman said she had to sacrifice saving her own tooth in order to pay for heating. 

According to a BBC report, a mother of two was forced to choose between heating her own home and her oral health due to cost.

She was in need of a root canal and a crown but had trouble finding an NHS dentist who could treat the tooth. Unable to afford the £1,000 private fee, she opted for the £50 extraction fee instead.

This is just one story of many detailing the full impact of the current cost of living crisis.

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Lack of affordability

She said: ‘With the cost of living rising, there was no way I could afford it.’

The patient and her husband currently act as full time carers to their two children – one has Asperger’s syndrome and the youngest has autism.

The family, who live in Wales, are one of thousands who are on the waiting lists for an NHS dentist.

A recent report by the Swansea Bay Community Health Council details the experiences of local people who have struggled to get the right care.

Access crisis

Around 2,000 dentists have moved away from NHS dentistry in the last year, according to new figures.

The number of dentists providing NHS treatment fell from 23,733 at the end of 2020 to 21,544 at the end of January this year. This is the lowest level in a decade.

Revealed by the Association of Dental Groups (ADG) via Freedom of Information, the report marks another setback within NHS dental access across the UK.

The report cites Brexit, Covid-19 and new ways of working as reasons for dental teams turning away from the health service.


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