A number of people have written to me recently about their difficulties finding an NHS dentist so this week I met with the minister responsible for dentistry, Maria Caulfield, to put their points to her.
The core issue is not a shortage of dentists (as we have with GPs) - there should be enough for the country's needs. Instead, the 2006 contract that was agreed with the profession does not incentivise them to do NHS work as they are paid a flat rate for treatments, where with private work they can charge much more and on a much wider scale of charges.
The Government has been working with the British Dental Association to find a solution as it knows there is a widespread problem of dentists turning down NHS patients. It hopes to make an announcement in due course.