Guardian Comment: Painful wait for some in city

More than six thousand people are currently waiting to be seen by a dentist in the North Lancashire area.
More than six thousand people are currently waiting to be seen by a dentist in the North Lancashire area.

This is not a new situation of course. Waiting lists for dental places have been pretty bad for a while - and not just in north Lancashire, but it is clear that the situation is a long way to being resolved. With more than 6,000 people, including children, waiting for an opportunity to visit a dentist, it makes you wonder about the level of decay going on inside people’s mouths.

Many people have of course opted to travel further for a dentist, while others - and I include myself in this number - have opted to give up and go private.

With eyewatering fees I imagine that these people - like me - only go when they absolutely have to.

This is a far from ideal scenario..

There is absolutely no doubt that this situation is under scrutiny by NHS bosses. Plans are underway to set up a new surgery in the city which will go some way to - literally - easing the pain. But with cumbersome time-based NHS contracts and heavy loads of paperwork to contend with - you can’t help not blaming dentists if they prefer to stay private.

There is no easy answer to this, but we are in danger of having generations of people with bad dental health, something we should be on top of in 2014. But until a magic wand is waved, we must resign ourselves to something rotten in the city of Lancaster, and it might just be our breath.