A member of the Senedd for North Wales has called for urgent action to be taken in order to tackle the lack of dentists in the region. 

Sam Rowlands MS is calling on the First Minister to improve the dentistry situation in North Wales after being inundated with messages from constituents. 

Mr Rowlands said he had Wrexham residents being told to expect a wait of two years before seeing an NHS dentist, with Vale of Clwyd residents facing a wait of three years. 

He is now calling on the First Minister and Welsh Government to take urgent action. 

READ MORE: Dentist shortage could become a 'crisis' in North Wales

Speaking in the Senedd, Mr Rowlands, Shadow Minister for Local Government said: “It seems to me at the moment that dentists, whilst seemingly happy to offer the private care, do not perhaps seem happy with the NHS contracts that you have put in place, because they are simply not offering their services through NHS work.

“I am still receiving emails from concerned constituents who cannot access an NHS dentist so quite clearly there is a real problem. I urge the First Minister to take urgent action.”

Mr Rowlands asked Mark Drakeford what action is the Welsh Government taking to improve access to NHS dentists in North Wales?

The First Minister did not accept there was a problem and said dentists had overwhelmingly signed up for the new contract which would enable them to see new patients, new NHS patients, in all parts of Wales.

READ MORE: Delyn MP raises residents' concerns over closure of dental practice with BUPA

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “Dental services continue to recover from the pandemic and we have allocated an additional £2m a year to support access for NHS patients.

“Public health and infection control measures during the pandemic to keep dentistry staff and patients safe, meant fewer people could be treated. While some measures remain, guidance for dental settings has been revised, which will help to increase the number of patients practices can see. 

“There are additional training places for dental care professionals later this year and we are also working with the British Dental Association and the wider dental community to reform the contracting arrangements for NHS dental provision.

“A dental academy in Bangor is due to open in autumn 2022 and is anticipated to provide access for 12,000-15,000 patients with its extended opening hours.”