People locally are finding it too hard to see an NHS dentist at the moment.
That's why I've teamed up with 14 Kent MPs to call for the creation of a Kent and Medway Dental School.
We know that healthcare professionals often stay working where they train, and in our letter to Dental Minister Andrea Leadsom (which you can find below) we argue that having a dental school locally would be a big boost for Kent.
It's exactly why I fought so hard to have the Kent and Medway Medical School situated in the county - opened near Canterbury in 2020. If we can get a dental school to join it we could have Kent churning out doctors and dentists - with lots of them going on to work locally.
The government understands that part of the problem nationally is a shortage of NHS dentists, and the recently published NHS Long Term Workforce Plan is going to expand dentistry training places by 40% over the next 8 years - meaning that there would be over 1,100 places nationally. The plan is also going to explore ways of encouraging dentists to spend a minimum proportion of their time delivering NHS care in the years following graduation.
It's not just the Workforce Plan which is good news for patients. The Dental Recovery Plan is due to be published shortly, and it's going to include a big package of change to make NHS dentistry easier to access.
With all this hard work going on nationally, I’m determined to see Kent benefit.