According to WalesOnline, children in the Bridgend area are waiting more than two years to get braces to straighten their teeth and correct abnormal bites. Conservative AM for South Wales West, Suzy Davies, who discovered the lengthy waiting time, has said that the wait for NHS orthodontic treatment is ‘intolerable.’
Davies has called on Abertawa Bro Morgannwy University Health Board (ABMU) to take action and help children who have severe dental problems from developing further issues as they reach adulthood. Orthodontic problems can become more severe over time and a delay in treatment could make it much harder to correct them – which in turn is going to cost more for the NHS.
A spokesperson for ABMU said that they were ‘concerned’ about the situation and added that around 16% of referrals in this area where ‘inappropriate’ because they were for children under the age of ten, which is generally too young to start brace treatment. The health board has apologised for the issue and they are trying to reassure people in the area that they are doing all they can ‘to resolve the situation.’ Dentists in Bridgend have been advised to offer appointments for patients in nearby areas where demand is not as high.