DENTAL deserts are springing up across England with millions missing vital checks.
Figures show nowhere in the country has more than one NHS dentist per 1,000 people.
It means long waits for affordable teeth check-ups and many not getting seen at all – while desperate Brits drive a boom in business for foreign clinics.
Data shows dentist shortages are worst in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire; Selby, North Yorkshire; Tamworth, Staffordshire; Mid-Suffolk; and Rochdale, Greater Manchester.
The Local Government Association found they all have fewer than one dentist per 1,400 people.
David Fothergill, from the LGA, said: “This stark analysis shows a shortage in affordable dental treatments for communities all over the country.
“In particular, it is concerning that rural areas and those with the highest levels of deprivation are more likely to miss out on NHS dental provision.
“This could risk people choosing to skip routine dental treatments or even resort to DIY dentistry.
“The government should reform the contract it has with dental surgeries.”
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NHS figures show just a third of adults – 37 per cent – have had a check-up in the past two years.
The figure is 46 per cent for children under 18.
Foreign clinics have seen a surge in Brits flying abroad to get their teeth fixed at cut prices.
Turkish firm Dentakay says numbers have surged 100-fold in the past four years, from 15 UK patients in 2019 to nearly 1,500 this year.
Founder Dr Gülay Akay said: “There is no doubt that the crisis in NHS care is driving British people to seek treatment in other countries.”
Ministers are locked in talks with UK clinics that say they are not paid enough for NHS work.
British Dental Association chair, Eddie Crouch, said: “A broken contract is forcing dentists out of the NHS every day it remains in force.
“To save this service we need real commitment – root and branch reform and adequate funding.”