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PM says Britons have 10 million unfilled fillings after people skipped dentist during lockdown

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England has 10MILLION ‘unfilled fillings’, Boris Johnson tells MPs as dentists warn 30million appointments were ‘lost’ during Covid

  • 30million dentist appointments were missed in the first year of the pandemic 
  • Health campaigners say the crisis could lead to mouth cancer being missed










There are 10million ‘unfilled fillings’ across England, Boris Johnson revealed today. 

Justifying his decision to stick to Plan B at Prime Minister’s Questions, he referenced the dental crisis.

He said it ‘goes to show why it is so important to keep this country going and to keep people going to the dentists’. 

Some 30million dentist appointments were missed in the first year of the pandemic in England, dentists estimate. Many only offered emergency appointments in a bid to quell the spread of the virus. 

The British Dental Association argued the figure equates to around 70 per cent of all appointments being missed.

Health campaigners say the crisis could be particularly devastating for children and lead to diseases like mouth cancer being missed.

Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions today, he said it was important to avoid Covid restrictions as Britons didn't see the dentist during lockdown, leading to millions of people suffering from tooth decay

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions today, he said it was important to avoid Covid restrictions as Britons didn’t see the dentist during lockdown, leading to millions of people suffering from tooth decay 

Now 20 NHS trusts declare ‘critical incidents’ amid Covid staffing crisis 

More than 20 NHS trusts have now declared a ‘critical incident’ amid staggering staffing shortages caused by the rapid spread of Omicron, as medics called for infection control rules to be loosened to increase capacity.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said more than 20 of England’s 137 trusts — 15 per cent of the entire health service — have signalled they may not be able to deliver vital care in the coming weeks.

But the spokesperson stressed the alert level is ‘not a good indicator’ of the pressures the health service was a under because it only provides a snapshot in time.

They said: ‘It’s worth understanding that critical incidents can last, in some certain circumstances, a matter of hours, a morning or afternoon, a day, some of them can last longer than that. So they’re not a good indicator necessarily of how the NHS is performing.’

The full list of trusts has not been made public, however those which have raised the alarm include North East Ambulance Service, Dorset County Hospital and Great Western Hospitals.

Trusts declaring critical incidents can ask staff on leave or on rest days to return to wards, and raising the alarm enables them to receive help from nearby hospitals. 

Hospitals across the country have cancelled operations and the Prime Minister yesterday revealed plans are being drawn up to call in the Army if the crisis continues to worsen. 

Labour MP for Stockport Navendu Mishra told the House that a mental health support worker constituent was forced to go to the emergency dentist three times for the same tooth because she was unable to get a routine appointment.

Mr Navendu said the lack of dentist appointments amounted to a ‘national scandal’.

Mr Johnson said the case ‘goes to show why it is so important to keep this country going and to keep people going to the dentists’.

He said: ‘One of the troubles we’ve had during lockdown are people haven’t been going – 10million unfilled fillings, I’m told Mr Speaker.

‘And that’s why we’re putting record investment into dentistry, into the NHS, £36billion for all their caterwauling Mr Speaker, they opposed that investment.’

Fillings are used to repair a hole in a tooth that is caused by decay. 

The queue of people waiting for dental treatment is on top of the nearly six million people in England on the waiting list for routine hospital treatment, with experts warning it will take years to catch up on missed care during the pandemic.

Data released by NHS England last month shows a record 5.98million people were waiting for surgery in October, up from 5.83million one month before. The figure includes more than 300,000 people who have been queuing for almost one year.

It comes as more than 20 NHS trusts have now declared a ‘critical incident’ amid staggering staffing shortages caused by the rapid spread of Omicron, as medics called for infection control rules to be loosened to increase capacity.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said more than 20 of England’s 137 trusts — 15 per cent of the entire health service — have signalled they may not be able to deliver vital care in the coming weeks.

But the spokesperson stressed the alert level is ‘not a good indicator’ of the pressures the health service was a under because it only provides a snapshot in time.

They said: ‘It’s worth understanding that critical incidents can last, in some certain circumstances, a matter of hours, a morning or afternoon, a day, some of them can last longer than that. So they’re not a good indicator necessarily of how the NHS is performing.’

The full list of trusts has not been made public, however those which have raised the alarm include North East Ambulance Service, Dorset County Hospital and Great Western Hospitals.

Trusts declaring critical incidents can ask staff on leave or on rest days to return to wards, and raising the alarm enables them to receive help from nearby hospitals. 

Hospitals across the country have cancelled operations and the Prime Minister yesterday revealed plans are being drawn up to call in the Army if the crisis continues to worsen.  

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