A FREEDOM of Information act has revealed the number of kids in Cornwall that are waiting an average of 12 weeks to be seen for serious dental problems.

According to the data, which came from a Freedom of Information request from the Liberal Democrats, 857 children in Cornwall are stuck on NHS waiting lists for specialised dental care, including some with severe tooth decay or other serious dental problems.

The figures were released by the NHS in response to a Freedom of Information request by the Liberal Democrats. They show that across the country, 27,000 children were waiting for a routine assessment for community dental services in January 2023. 

On average, children in Cornwall are waiting 12 weeks for specialised dental treatment under General Anaesthetic after a referral.

Community Dental Services provide treatments to a range of patients that need specialised care because they have specific needs. This can include children with severe untreated tooth decay, those with physical or learning disabilities and those who need specific treatment for complex dental problems.

The Liberal Democrats said the figures were “heartbreaking” and called for urgent action to tackle long waiting times and ensure children can access the emergency dental care they need.

Ruth Gripper, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Truro and Falmouth said: "The problems accessing NHS dentists is something that comes up time and again on the doorstep. 

"Here we're talking about children being left in pain as they wait for the specialist care they need. It's heartbreaking, and it's simply not fair on them.

"We need urgent action to give every child access to the dental care they need.

"The government must take urgent action to address this dental crisis, including tackling staff shortages and reforming the broken system that has driven dentists away from offering NHS appointments."