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Wakefield MP presses the Prime Minister on 'dental emergency'


Simon Lightwood MP today pressed Rishi Sunak on the Government's mismanagement of NHS dentistry during Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs).


Wakefield's Labour MP raised this question following representations from numerous Wakefield residents on this issue.


Mr Lightwood highlighted the experiences of his constituent's daughter, stating that the six-year-old 'has never seen an NHS dentist, despite often crying in pain.'


This question reflected the findings of the Oral Health Survey (2019), which showed that in the Wakefield district, over 25% of 5-year-olds had some tooth decay.


The Prime Minister responded to Wakefield's MP to say that the Government had recently reformed the NHS dentistry contract, providing more funding, but that he was sorry to hear of the specific case.


However, the British Dental Association (BDA) strongly dismissed the Prime Minister’s and stressed that not one of the Prime Minister’s claims was accurate. Their Chair, Eddie Crouch, stated that Mr Sunak's response 'offered a grotesque misrepresentation of a crisis facing millions'.


In efforts to reduce childhood dental issues, Labour-led Wakefield Council has distributed oral health packs to families, via health visitors, foodbanks and family and youth hubs.


Mr Lightwood said,


"There is no doubt that we are facing a national dental emergency.


The Government continues to make empty promises about reforming NHS dentistry. What we need is action.


Tooth decay, extractions and significant dental pain are increasing in children as young as 5.


It is shocking that less than half of Wakefield's children saw a NHS dentist last year.

This is simply not good enough; the Government is letting our children down."


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