MY HUSBAND and I have often felt let down by the government and what are deemed as a necessary benefit and that which is abused by those who play the system. 

We both work and always have; we claim no benefits and do have a child on the spectrum. We appreciate all the help we get from our child’s school. 

We struggle during school holidays as we cannot afford the cost for childcare and due to not receiving any benefits are not entitled to the ‘free’ events that are regularly offered to parents of children who are on benefits, despite them being home to care for their children. 

However, I draw the line when something such as free child dental care which we who work pay for with our national insurance contributions is no longer accessible. The NHS dental service is almost non-existent. 

READ MORE: Just a third of Islanders have been to the dentist since the Covid pandemic began

My daughters were registered with Bembridge dentist until last year when they got rid of all their NHS patients. 

My eldest is in the middle of treatment with an orthodontist in Ryde and has a top brace fitted. 

In order to continue this work, she needs to have an upper canine adult tooth extracted. 

Her orthodontist offered to refer her to the hospital as I explained I had yet to find another NHS dentist. 

The response from the hospital has taken about four months and after waiting all that time they have declined to treat her. 

Their reason, it’s not an emergency and she is not in pain! Yes, this may be true, but she also has a tooth that is not in its correct place and cannot be moved with a brace, which is delaying the rest of her treatment! 

READ MORE: Shocking state of Island dentistry revealed in report

So, I ask: “What do I do now?” The only response I can get is, I have to pay! Pay for my 13-year-old child to have a treatment that should be given free on the NHS, a treatment that I and my husband pay our national insurance for, to enable this service!

If I or anyone else starts paying for this service, will it be another thing that those of us who work and pay our taxes will then be expected to pay for?

How can we be in 2022 and not be able to offer our children free dental treatment? 

I’ve contacted NHS England, complained to them and Bob Seely. My nearest NHS dentist that ‘may’ be taking children is Southampton!

By the time I pay the extortionate ferry crossings to get there, I may as well have paid for the private tooth extraction.

Going to the dentist isn’t just about checking peoples’ teeth, it helps find conditions such as gum disease and some cancers.

This isn’t a service that should be treated so flippantly by government. 

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