The Echo has analysed the dental crisis across south Essex as growing numbers of residents complain about being unable to register themselves or their children.

Dentists providing NHS treatment are listed online, with practices expected to keep their details up to date on the health service's website.

The Echo has analysed records for practices to lay the scale of the "dental desert" in south Essex bare. This is particularly an issue in Southend, where just three surgeries across the whole borough are accepting new NHS patients, and one is only accepting children under 17.

Just 11 dentists across Southend, Canvey, Basildon, Benfleet, Rochford and Rayleigh are accepting both adult and children as new patients -  part of south Essex serving 543,500 people.

According to the NHS website, the following dental surgeries are currently accepting any new patients*:

  • Inspire Dental Southend
  • Dentistry for You, Leigh
  • Affinity Dental Clinic, Basildon
  • Laindon Health Centre
  • Eastgate Dental Practice, Basildon
  • Pitsea Dental Care Limited
  • Wickford Dental Health Centre
  • Wickford Dental Practice
  • Oak Dental Canvey
  • Mr Lee and Associate, Rayleigh
  • Cygnet Dental Practice

And the following dentists are only accepting new patients aged 17 or under: 

  • Mr Papineni's Dental Practice
  • Hadleigh Dental Practice
  • Felmores Dental Care
  • Langdon Hills Dental Care
  • Acer Dental Practice, Laindon
  • Great Knightley Dental Clinic
  • Mr Dannhauser (Advanced Dental Aesthetics), Shoebury

This comes after the number of complaints against dental practices in Mid and South Essex have soared following the coronavirus pandemic, new figures have shown this month.

NHS England figures show a whopping 2,620 complaints were submitted against GPs, dentists and other primary care services in the NHS Mid and South Essex Integrated Care Board area over the past year.

This is up from 1,708 in 2018-19.

Of the resolved cases, 32 per cent were upheld following an investigation.

Major concerns have been raised in recent months over the dental crisis in Southend, with Anna Firth, MP for Southend West, raising the issue in the House of Commons and Healthwatch Southend also demanding more is done to make dentist appointments available.

*These figures are correct as of November 30, 2023