NEW FOREST West MP Sir Desmond Swayne has pressed the government on when residents will be able to go to their dentist for treatment.

A series of urgent dental hubs offering emergency treatment have been set up during the coronavirus pandemic but the services they offer are limited.

Sir Desmond told health secretary Matt Hancock: "The regional dental hubs offer little more than extractions —but I want to keep my teeth. When will dentists be able to treat their own patients?"

Mr Hancock replied: "Many people have asked how, in an emergency, they can see a dentist. Dentistry is there and available—it is an important message for all our constituents. However, we are also working on the restart of dentistry more broadly.

"I understand the challenges, especially for those who want to see their own dentist and for dental practices.

"With NHS contracts, we continue to keep the funds flowing, but of course many dentists rely on their private income as well, and we support the mixed market in dentistry.

"What we need to do is get dentistry up and running when we can, but it has to be safe."