A TEEN is being forced to wait 18 months to have two teeth removed on the NHS due to delays caused by Covid.
Uwais Patel, from Preston, Lancashire, was shocked when he received his letter last week stating that his appointment will be on February 9, 2023.
The 16-year-old had already had two teeth taken out at his regular dentist in April but was referred to Preston Royal Hospital for the other two extractions.
The appointment, due 81 weeks from today, will mean Uwais will be 18-years-old by the time he finally has his teeth out and ready to have his braces fitted.
Uwais initially thought the date was a typo and couldn’t believe it when he called the NHS who confirmed it was correct.
According to the British Dental Association (BDA), an estimated 30 million dental appointments have been lost since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.
Speaking today Uwais said: “It’s an appointment for my dental extractions as part of my orthodontics treatment. My treatment can’t move forward till I’ve had those extractions.
“At first I didn’t believe it. I was sure it was a mistake but when I realised it wasn’t it was more concerned with the state of the health service because I knew they’d be people with more serious cases experiencing similar things.
“It’s two teeth I’m getting out and I’ve just finished my first year of college so I’ll be in university and probably won’t even be living in Preston (by the time of the appointment).
“My initial consultation was at the end of 2020.
“They said I needed four extractions, two of which happened around April at my regular dentist but the other two were more complicated hence I was referred to the hospital.
“It took them until last week to give me an appointment, which of course can’t happen until 2023.”
The shocked teen posted screenshots of the letter, dated 13 July 2021, on Twitter last week, writing: “I didn’t know the NHS was that underfunded.”
The tweet has been liked more than 18,000 times and shared by over 1,600 social media users.
@aubameyang786 said: “Mate, England will win the World Cup before your appointment. lmao.”
@khanstandyou said: “So where is my tax going?”
While @xyzb112c added: “It’s all because of Covid though, the patient backlogs are now massive so there’s not much they can do.
“Everyone’s been delayed by over a year because everything non essential was pushed back by at least a year.”
According to Healthwatch England in their Dentistry During COVID-19 report: “Treatment for many stopped and, even though many dentists are now open.
“The backlog and ongoing restrictions continue to cause problems when it comes to, booking routine care, restarting treatment which began prior to the pandemic and accessing emergency treatment.”