THE discovery that there are no new NHS dental places available for adults in the entire Vale of Glamorgan has been described as a "kick in the teeth" by AM Andrew RT Davies.
In response to a question submitted by Mr Davies, Welsh Assembly Health Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed that not one dental practice in the Vale is currently accepting new NHS patients.
Welsh Conservative leader Mr Davies said: "Access to NHS dental services isn’t an added extra. People need to be able to see local dentists to maintain dental health.
"What a dentist could have prevented today will end up costing the NHS a lot more, in time and in taxpayers’ money, down the road.
“To tell Vale residents that they have to travel to Cardiff to see an NHS dentist is simply a kick in the teeth."
He added that he considered this revelation to be another sign that Labour cannot be "trusted with our NHS".
“Again, people find themselves on the verge of having to queue for dental places," he said. "This is something you would have expected to see in a 20th century Soviet bloc country, not in 21st century Wales.
“The Welsh Government needs to accept that it is doing harm to the NHS.
"More must be done to ensure that anyone, wherever they are in the Vale, can access NHS dental services.”
Health Minister Mark Drakeford said that there are three NHS practices accepting child patients in the Vale and six in Cardiff accepting adults.
He said: "Cardiff and Vale University Local Health Board has acknowledged there are some access pressures in the Vale of Glamorgan and has re-allocated resources to those practices which were able to increase capacity.
"The LHB also allocated additional resources to three practices across the Vale of Glamorgan, specifically for the treatment of new NHS patients."