A family who moved to Milton Keynes 15 months ago has spent the whole time fruitlessly searching for an NHS dentist to register with.
The dad moved here with his partner and two children in July 2020 and immediately started ringing round dentists.
Though he and his partner both work, they are on a tight budget and cannot afford private dental treatment, which can cost up to £250 for a filling and up to £970 for root canal treatment.
But not one NHS dentist in MK had room to take the new family.
The dad has been suffering tooth pain on and off since he moved. But the crunch came when another tooth fell out during the height of Covid lockdown.
"Since then I’ve called so many dentists but they only want private patients," he said.
"I appreciate Covid caused massive disruption with this but for a long time I have not been able to register as a NHS patient. I could register anywhere privately but not on NHS."
"My partner and I receive no benefits at all and we pay for our treatment - but not at the private prices as we simply cannot afford to.
"I am sure we are not the only people in this position and it is absolutely disgusting. It’s shocking that there are so many dentists yet all they want now is private patients. How is this allowed to happen?"
The man said he has contacted his MPs office about the problem and is awaiting their response.
Last month the Citizen reported how local Healthwatch experts had also written to MPs to complain about the serious lack of NH dental provision in Milton Keynes. You can read the story here.
Healthwatch, which is the independent public champion for people receiving health services in MK, says there is currently no dentist in the borough taking on new adult NHS patients and only one taking new child NHS patients.
They have received numerous complaints from members of the public unable to access dental care and unable to afford private dentistry. But all they can do is direct patients to 111 and advise them to request a dental triage.
But even then, they say, only the most clinically urgent cases will receive support and residents may need to travel out of area to receive treatment.