NHS dental services in Bury St Edmunds received a blow after a surgery decided to stop providing treatment, leaving patients with just one alternative.
Mydentist, in King’s Road, wrote to NHS patients last week informing them of its decision to stop providing NHS services from the end of next month.
It said the decision was due to ‘difficulties experienced in operational costs and the ongoing running of the dental practice’, which had made it unsustainable.
“This decision has not been taken lightly and we are very sorry we are no longer able to provide NHS dental services at this practice,” added the letter.
Mydentist is now considering the practice’s future.
NHS patients have been told to find an alternative dental practice.
The sister mydentist Bury St Edmunds Dental Practice, in Risbygate Street, is the only surgery in the town currently accepting new adult patients – but no appointments there are available until March.
A mydentist spokeswoman said the King’s Road surgery would continue to run as normal, accepting emergencies, completing open courses of treatment and carrying out routine NHS dental appointments until February 28.
She added that patients with orthodontic or private dental needs would be contacted separately to make arrangements.
Andy Yacoub, chief executive of Healthwatch Suffolk, said: “We have received calls from people in the area who have been unable to register and when we have spoken to NHS England about the situation their response has been that there is NHS care currently available, albeit in neighbouring towns.
“This isn’t an ideal solution as not everyone can easily access transport.
“If there is a solution to this it is only at a national not local level. Consequently when dealing with these calls we advise our callers to bring the situation to the attention of their local MPs.”
Simon Evans, locality director for NHS England, Midlands and East (East), said it was ‘working closely’ with Mydentist to ensure patients received the care they needed prior to the closure of the practice.
“NHS England is committed to ensuring everyone can access high quality dental care. We are actively exploring the options for dental services in the Bury area, both in the short and the longer term,” he added.
NHS dentists currently accepting new patients include: Thatch Dental Surgery, in Mildenhall; The Churchyard, Mildenhall; Townsend House, Thetford; Tavern Street Dental Practice, Stowmarket; and Bury House, Stowmarket.