According to one report, inmates with a toothache receive emergency dental care within hours behind bars.
The treatment of the lay public is in stark contrast to law-abiding citizens who are pulling their teeth out while facing three-year NHS waiting lists.
Inspectors at one prison found there were two dental clinics operating four days a week and additional surgeries on weekends.
The Prison Inspector’s Report at Holme House Jail in County Durham said: “Emergency treatment was available within two days and the GP also prescribed emergency treatment.”
Shawn Charlwood of the British Dental Association warned last month: “The survival of NHS dentistry cannot be taken for granted.”
In 2018-19 NHS dentists performed 39.7m dental ‘treatments’, but in 2021-22 this was down to 26.6m, a 34% drop.
As a result, the backlog has skyrocketed and there are now 11 million people waiting to see an NHS dentist.
The closures during the pandemic have seen the number of working NHS dentists fall by 4% meaning over 1,000 dentists have been lost since 2019.