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Special meeting will focus on dental provision in North Devon and Torridge

Dental provision in North Devon and Torridge will be the focus of a special public meeting next week.

Dental tools on a blue background

Dental tools on a blue background

A joint meeting of North Devon Council's policy development committee and Torridge District Council's external overview and scrutiny committee will take place on Thursday, 18 July 2024.

The meeting will explore the issues around dentistry provision in the area including access for NHS patients, and it is hoped the meeting will explore potential ways in which the councils can offer support. 

The panel will be made up of representatives from the dental sector, including: 

  • Ian Mills, Partner at Torrington Dental Practice and Associate Professor of Primary Care Dentistry, Peninsula Dental School.
  • Alister Green, Specialist Orthodontist, providing orthodontic provision for North Devon.
  • Paul Oades, Specialist Orthodontist and original provider of orthodontic provision in North Devon.
  • Donna Turton, Area Development Manager at MyDentist.

Chair of North Devon Council's Policy Development Committee, Councillor Liz Spear, said:

Our members regularly hear from residents who are frustrated by the dental provision in the area, whether it's finding an NHS dentist, or getting treatment in an emergency. This is a national problem, so our councils are keen to identify anything we can do which can help to mitigate the situation locally. We look forward to a constructive and positive discussion."

Chair of Torridge District Council's External Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Councillor Cheryl Cottle-Hunkin, said:

The decline in the availability of dental provision across Torridge is something that we have been suffering with here for some time now.  Finding a local NHS dentist can be extremely difficult or even impossible, and most people cannot afford to go private.  We are also concerned that many children in Torridge are unable to see a dentist; nationally over 100,000 children were admitted to hospital with rotting teeth in the past few years.

As Councillors we are concerned that some of our residents are forgoing dental treatments and, being in excruciating pain, are in some cases, resorting to DIY dentistry.  I welcome the meeting and look forward to seeing how we can potentially work together to try and improve the situation across Torridge and North Devon."

The special policy development committee meeting takes place in the South West Institute Development Building at Petroc on Thursday, 18 July at 6.30pm.

Questions from councillors to the panel and their respective answers will be available with the agenda.

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