Leeds woman loses 13 teeth in 7 years without dentist because she was kicked out of practice 'for missing appointment'
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Mandy Sharp, 59, says she was struck off her dentist’s patient list when she cancelled an appointment to undergo emergency surgery for a cancerous tumour in 2016. She was forced onto antidepressants when she became suicidal after loosing 12 top gnashers and one bottom - leaving her looking "like a drug addict".
Mandy, from Leeds, has now tried hundreds of dentists as far away as Hull, but has been told none are accepting NHS patients. She said: “I got to the point where I wanted to throw myself out of a window. I’ve lost 13 teeth, and now I’m down to one at the front, and the rest have all snapped off. It’s embarrassing. I feel like a drug addict. People look down on you when you have only got one top tooth."
Mandy had been on the books of Whitecross Dental Care, in Bramley, for six months in 2016 when she was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour and was rushed to hospital. Doctors found the 11cm by 8cm growth close to her coccyx and she spent three weeks in an ICU where she underwent emergency surgery.
She had an appointment booked with her dentist for some fillings and asked her mum to cancel it at least a week in advance when she became very ill. But after she came out of the hospital, she claimed she was struck off their patient list as staff said she’d “missed” an appointment - and could not be reinstated.
And though she “begged and begged” to be re-admitted, Mandy was forced to hunt for new dental clinics that would take NHS patients. During this time she noticed black marks forming on her teeth as they began to rot, and shockingly over Christmas in 2021, nine of her top teeth cleanly “snapped off”.
Mandy made an appeal to civic leaders at a council meeting in November last year about her case, saying “people look down" on her due to her missing teeth. But she was left feeling so dejected following the local gathering that her thoughts turned to the idea of taking her own life just hours later.
She said: “When I came out of that meeting in November, I got in the taxi, and I sat in the taxi and cried all the way home. I phoned my GP straight away when I started feeling like that. He put me on anti-depressants.”
Mandy said she has tried to get a referral through her GP three times but after that failed, she is still no closer to getting the treatment she needs. The branch of Whitecross Dental Care has since closed after it was taken over by (My)dentist.
A spokesperson from (My)dentist said: “We’re disappointed to hear that Ms [Sharp] had this experience at the practice when it was under different management. Our practice teams work hard to treat as many people within the community as possible but sadly, we understand that many patients like Ms Rhodes are struggling to access NHS dental care.
"That’s why we’re doing everything we can to recruit as many new clinicians as possible.”