People are having to travel as far as Birmingham to see an NHS dentist and others in Swindon have had to pull their own teeth out because the town's dentists are at full capacity.

South Swindon MP hopeful Heidi Alexander has previously described Swindon as a dentistry desert and described it as being 'borderline impossible' to find a dentist without having to go private.

She said: "This week I met a woman in Swindon who told me that she had to pull a number of her own teeth out. She couldn’t afford to go private. It’s Dickensian."

Healthwatch Swindon has repeatedly raised concerns over the last four years as the 'twin crisis of access and affordability' continued to grow. 

Between October 2021 and March 2022, the Healthwatch network heard from 4,808 people about their experiences of dental care, many of whom were struggling to access timely care.

So as people struggle to get the help they need, The Swindon Advertiser has put together a list of all the dentists in Swindon using the NHS Find a Dentist website, and if they are accepting new patients.

None of the dentists currently listed are taking adult NHS patients and only two are taking children aged 17 and under, although some are still taking referrals. 

Meanwhile, local people continue to struggle. 

One member of the public who wished not to be named said: "I have emailed a lot of dentists after moving from Cheltenham, and none have been offering NHS care in Swindon. 

"This has left me feeling frustrated, annoyed and stressed."

“It is not a new problem, but it has got worse in the last couple of years.”

Mrs Alexander explained that she feels the problem is partly caused by a national shortage of new dentists being trained, explaining that she has spoken to students from Swindon who were told they had to train abroad if they wanted to be a dentist. 

South Swindon MP Sir Robert Buckland, explained that this is also an issue that he has been working on for some time.

“I've brought it up in Parliament and I am pushing the local integrated health system to open up NHS opportunities and to attract and recruit dentists into the system. But this isn't easy at the moment.