MORE than 1,100 patients have been been given the shock news that their dental surgery is to close.

The practice in Fern Avenue – one of two NHS surgeries managed in Prestatyn by dental care provider mydentist, which has 1,150 patients on its books – will shut on October 31. The closure will leave the town with only two dental practices: the other mydentist on the High Street and The Gables private surgery on Plas Uchaf Avenue.

Fern Avenue patients have been told they can be accommodated at the High Street practice but one who spoke to the Journal remained unconvinced.

The patient, who has been treated at Fern Avenue for 16 years but asked not to be identified, said: “I, like all of the patients on their books, will definitely struggle to find an NHS dentist that is

anywhere near the same quality – or even get on the books at all.

“I’m worried I’m going to be forced to go private now.

“I feel sorry for the six nurses that work there too. That they will be losing their jobs, which is ridiculous when you’re reading about staff shortages and people all over Wales unable to get an appointment with a dentist.

“If I was in the dentistry business, I’d be jumping in there straight away.

“The practice was immaculately maintained and was so impressive – it would be such a waste if nobody picked it up.”

A spokesman for the Fern Avenue practice said: “Increased running costs have made it necessary to close the practice on Wednesday, October 31.

“This decision has not been taken lightly.

“We are doing everything we can to minimise patient disruption by working closely with the local NHS team.

“Registered patients with open courses of treatment will have their dental care completed or appropriately referred before October 31.

“All patients have been informed of the closure and we have provided details on finding an alternative dental practice.”

Integrated Dental Holdings Limited, Europe’s largest dental care provider, which operates the mydentist chain, also oversees practices on Chapel Street in Abergele and Elwy Street in Rhyl, as well as in Llandudno, Rhos-on-Sea, Bangor and Anglesey.

It is understood that there are no plans to close any of those practices.

Chris Ruane, MP for the Vale of Clwyd, said: “This would obviously be of concern to patients and all those staff involved at the practice.”

“People need to be able to access dental care and I will be taking this up with the health board and Welsh Government.

“I am also concerned at the statement that there are a number of other dental practices in the area which are experiencing increased running costs and would be keen to hear from them to see if anything can be done to help.”

Ann Jones, AM for the Vale of Clwyd said: “It is disappointing to see a dental practice in Prestatyn closing.

“I am making enquiries as to the availability of dentists who carry out NHS treatment in my constituency.

“Each dental practice is private and negotiates its contract with the health board to carry out NHS treatment and I would expect the health board to review provision for NHS patients following this decision by the Fern Avenue practice to close.

A spokesman for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said: "Patients who require urgent treatment when the practice has closed, or before they have registered with an alternative practice, should contact NHS Direct Wales on 0845 6064647 or"