Dental Directory has raised concerns over access to NHS dentistry, children’s dental health and how more dentists are urgently needed with MP, Priti Patel.
The Foreign Affairs Select Committee Member met with managing director and commercial director, Mark Stephenson and Mimi Lau at Dental Directory’s headquarters in Witham, Essex.
Talks focused on the need to address the lack of dental provision across the country and particularly the dentist recruitment crisis.
Children’s dental health and the £18m yearly spend on emergency dental care, were highlighted as indicators that vulnerable people were not getting sufficient access to high-quality NHS dental treatment.
Stephenson said: “We welcome this opportunity to speak with Priti Patel and thank her for taking the time to meet with us.
“Recent research shows that more than half of dental practices in England are closed to new patients and a lack of provision is felt most harshly in deprived communities. The major source of poor access to NHS dentistry is an acute shortage of dentists and if things don’t change, there is a risk that access to the best dentistry will continue to decline.
“As a business that has been operating in this sector for more than 45 years it’s not something we’re willing to stand by and watch.
“We invited Priti Patel as our local MP to raise these issues and help drive change. We need to increase the number of dentists being trained, continue to bring in the best dentists from Europe and, particularly after Brexit, ensure that outstanding dentists from around the world are able to practice in the UK.”
Discussions with the MP also touched on international export of Dental Directory’s own brand range, UnoDent.
Patel adds: “I was delighted to visit Dental Directory. They are an excellent business supplying dental practices across the country with the equipment they need to maintain high quality dental health and hygiene and keep the country smiling.
“As with many businesses they are keen to see how Britain can be best positioned for future trade to support importers and exporters as we leave the EU.”
Commenting on the importance of international relationships for Dental Directory and UK dentistry, Stephenson adds:
“For our own business international access is also important to our growth.