Four local dental practices were contacted which were known to provide or have provided some NHS dentistry. Two are in Bridport and two in Lyme Regis. Three of these responded, providing information, and their contributions to this project must be acknowledged. Limited information about the fourth was gleaned from websites and local knowledge. No attempt was made to contact two further practices – one in Bridport and one in Beaminster – operating solely on a private basis.
Among the four dental practices contacted, at present:
- One has three dentists (one part-time); and
- Three have a single dentist.
Capacity of dental provision – whether NHS or private – is therefore quite limited in Dorset to the west of Dorchester and Weymouth. Even if the wholly private practices are added, that makes 8 dentists within an area where the population is around 30,000. Three of the responding practices have lost a dentist (in one case through retirement) in the recent past and been unable to replace them. It should, however, be noted that some other professionals, including dental hygienists and a dental therapist, are present at these practices.