THE British Dental Association (BDA) has warned patients in Bradford that self-medication must not fill the NHS access gap.

It comes following a study at the A&E unit of the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, which identified self-medication for dental pain with paracetamol as a significant cause of accidental overdose and potential liver failure. It revealed that lack of access to emergency dental care was a contributory factor to paracetamol overdose.

Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, the BDA’s chair of General Dental Practice said: “Paracetamol is not a solution for dental pain, and is simply a temporary measure until a dentist can provide treatment.

“Sadly lives are now at risk as failure to provide sufficient care for dental emergencies is leaving patients to self-medicate. Bradford is at the sharp end of this access crisis.”

Moira Dumma, Director of Commissioning Operations, NHS England in Yorkshire and the Humber, has previously said NHS England is "committed" to ensuring all patients who want to access NHS dental services can do so.

"We are currently reviewing how we can improve access to NHS dentists across our region and looking at how we can introduce additional capacity from within our existing budget," she said.

“We are looking at both in-hours and out of hours’ services and at how people can be better signposted to the most appropriate services. We will be paying particular attention to areas where we know this is particularly challenging.

“Patients who require urgent dental treatment can call NHS 111 at any time, day or night in order to access an emergency appointment.”