Summary of report content
Healthwatch Isle of Wight undertook a survey of access to NHS dentistry during the Covid-19 pandemic. They heard from 706 people.
Just over half were not registered with an NHS dentist. Over three in five of those who were registered with an NHS dentist said it wasn’t easy to make an appointment.
Many had had their dental appointment cancelled by their dentists in the last 18 months.
Over half felt that staff at their dental practice were helpful or very helpful.
Over a third said that their dental charges had increased this year.
Over four in five of the 350 people who answered a question about registering with an NHS dentist have tried to do so. Most of these have been trying to do so for more than 12 months.
Over a third had tried to contact NHS 111 to assist them to register with an NHS dentist.
Nearly a quarter had been advised to register with a dentist not located on the Isle of Wight.
Nearly half had never sought private routine care because they couldn’t access NHS dentistry.
Over half had seen a dentist over 12 months ago. Nearly one in five had called NHS 111 for emergency dental care in the last 12 months, and 40% of these said that they were able to find them an appointment.
Over half were not able to receive the treatment that they needed.
Over two in five people had contacted a dentist during the Covid-19 pandemic, and just under half were offered telephone triage.
Just under one in ten people have declined NHS dental treatment because they can’t afford it and a quarter had declined private treatment.
The report includes six recommendations.