The Tories have claimed that more and more dental patients are being referred to emergency departments, which is straining facilities there.
Figures obtained from the NHS Information Centre show that 22,058 people were admitted for emergency dental treatment in 2007/08 as compared to 21,801 people in 2006/07.
AdvertisementGPs referred 1,101 people to A&E department during the year, which represented a 5% increase over last year's figures.
"These figures are further evidence of Labour's appalling failure on NHS dentistry," said Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley. "For years now, many people have been simply unable to see an NHS dentist and almost a million more have lost access to their dentist since Labour's new contract was introduced in 2006."
Health minister Ann Keen defended the government saying the opposition needed to put the figures into proper perspective before launching an attack on the system.
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