An independent dentist in Helston has announced that it will be going private at the end of the summer.

Angel Dentist in Tyacke Road announced in a letter to patients that they will be going private from September, 1 2022.

Due to two NHS dentists leaving in the last 12 months, and not being able to find a replacement, together with "major changes in dentistry", the practice said it had been forced into discussing how to make the best use of resources available for its patients.

In a letter sent to current patients at the practice, Angel Dentist said: "The quality of care we offer our patients is of the utmost importance to us, so we have been working hard behind the scenes making important decisions and changes in the strive to improve.

"After much deliberation, as of September 1, we will no longer be providing NHS Dental services.

"This means patients who would like to remain with us will need to join either one of our membership plans or become a private 'pay-as-you go' patient."

The practice has always offered private dentistry and membership plans, in addition to its previous NHS services, and the practice said it now felt it was "time to concentrate on this part of our service."

The Packet has contacted Angel Dental for further comment.


Angel Dental Surgery in Helston is going private Picture: Angel Dental

Angel Dental Surgery in Helston is going private Picture: Angel Dental


There are now only two dental practices in Helston that are providing patients with NHS and membership options, Smile Dentist and My Dentist, both in Meneage Street, while Meneage Dental is already fully private.

St Ives and West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas has been campaigning for a new contract for NHS dentists for many years, as has previously said he believes the current NHS dental provision in Cornwall isn't up to where it should be.

In January, he carried out a survey of dentistry patients in this area and presented the results to a committee at the House of Commons. Nearly half the patients on his survey had been waiting for over three years for an appointment, and many others didn't show up as they had given up waiting.

By coincidence, NHS England has today (Tuesday) announced new reforms in dental contracts, for the first time in 16 years, which it claims should give patients across the country improved access to dental care.

Under the changes, NHS dentists will be paid more for treating more complex cases, such as people who need three fillings or more, and dental therapists will be able to accept patients for NHS treatments – providing fillings, sealants, and preventative care for adults and children – which should free up dentists’ time for urgent and complex cases.

To make services more accessible for people, dentists must update the NHS website and directory of services so patients can easily find the availability of dentists in their local area.

NHS England claimed that as a result of the changes high-performing dental practices would have the opportunity to increase their activity by a further 10% and "see as many patients as possible."

Chief Dental Officer for England Sara Hurley said: “The NHS is determined to overhaul dental provision, with a focus on increasing access to necessary dental care and supporting prevention, today’s reforms are the first step on that journey.

“NHS dental staff are working hard to recover services, but the key to delivering this will be reform – these changes announced today will help teams carry out even more treatments and help address the inevitable backlogs that have built up during the pandemic.

“Anyone with concerns about their dental health should contact their local dentist as they usually would or seek advice from NHS 111.”

NICE guidance states that dental teams should see patients for an oral check-up based on their health risk, which can be once every two years instead of every six months, to ensure appointments are given to those most in need.