7:30 a.m. November 25, 2021
08:37 25 November 2021
A Suffolk man who has spent more than a decade trying to see a dentist without success is relieved to finally have an appointment early next year.
Jeremy Burchell found himself scratched from his dentist list in 2008 when dentist appointments clashed with hospital appointments and has been “trying to find a dentist ever since”.
Now, 13 years later and with several fewer teeth than before, Jeremy, from Walberswick, plans to get dentures in January.
In 2008, he had several visits to the doctor and was diagnosed with diverticulitis.
Although he had phoned to let his dentist know he would not be showing up due to appointments, when he tried to reschedule he found he had been taken off the list. because he had missed two consecutive appointments.
Jeremy said: “It left me without a dentist from 2008 until now.
“I only have one front tooth left and many more are gone, the bottom row doesn’t look so bad.
“I’m just glad we wore masks when we go out, otherwise I’d scare the kids.”
His teeth were perfectly fine before and think none of this would have happened if he hadn’t been dropped by his original dentist.
He’s applied for dentists across the county, but says the only response he gets is ‘I’m sorry, we’re full’
He added: “It has nothing to do with me not trying to get a dentist, far from it. I’ve been trying to get a dentist ever since.”
During his search for a new dentist, Jeremy says he had a lot of teeth that fell out: “I’ve swallowed them before, in fact I was in such a bad state at one point that I had to go into the shed and grab a pair of pliers and the tooth myself.
“The only pleasure I got out of it was going back inside and rinsing my mouth out with a tall whisky.
“I’ve always taken care of my choppers, or I could say chopper now. I can laugh about it now to some degree because I know I have a dentist now, but the last thing I wanted was dentures.”
Dentistry in Suffolk
There has been a reported shortage of dentists in Suffolk, with vacancies remaining vacant for over two years in Suffolk.
More than 200 people took part in a protest in Bury St Edmunds in October over continuing concerns about the provision of dental care in Suffolk.
East Suffolk Council has also written to the Department of Health and Social Care outlining the district’s concerns over dentistry.
While Dr Ed Garratt, of the Integrated Care System (ICS) of Suffolk and North East Essex, said he was “quite ashamed” of the provision of dental care.