A DENTIST'S surgery has announced it is privatising most of its services to customers in Dorset.

Seaview Dental practice has been ‘creating smiles’ since 1924.

Due to long waiting lists and other factors, the service has decided to privatise the majority of its services.

In an email sent to clients, it read: “We have provided both NHS and private dental services for many years, but in recent times the pressures surrounding the provision of NHS dentistry have become difficult to sustain.

“It has become increasingly challenging for the practice to recruit clinicians to work within the NHS and to work under a target-driven NHS contract that is hard to achieve.

“Reducing this commitment means that we will be seeing a smaller number of NHS patients moving forward. We will always treat all individuals fairly, meaning we cannot prioritise who remains an NHS patient.

"The spaces will be given on a first come first served basis and you must contact the practice to notify us via a letter if you wish to remain as an NHS patient.

“This is not a decision we have taken lightly, but we feel it is within the best interests of our patients to do so as it will reduce waiting times and allow us to spend longer with our patients."

Mark Ambrose, a loyal customer, is outraged at the change: “It pretty much removes access to an affordable dentist.

“We used to go every six months prior to the new dentists buying out the previous owners, then when these took over, they changed it to once a year.

“There is no way we’d stay there as private patients after this.

"It’s so underhand and deliberate.

“I’m always reading about ‘no NHS dentist taking on new patients’, so like the rest, it’ll be a dental emergency trip when needed.

“We pay our taxes and national insurance, yet have NHS dentistry removed.

“We joined there in 1989 and haven’t missed an appointment in that time.”

The dentist will reduce its NHS commitment from April 1 and Seaview Dental is based on Ashley Road in Poole.

The Echo contacted Seaview Dental for comment but at the time of going to print it had not responded.