Thousands of people will be left without NHS dental care with the closure of a practice next month.
And that could lead to an increase in cancer rates, according to experts.
Bupa York Dental Care at Holgate Park, which offers NHS and private services, will close on 30 June due to issues hiring dentists.
Bupa announced 85 practice closures across the country in March.
The York practice has a target of 13,717 check-ups a year, which it has struggled to keep up blaming national staffing issues.
The British Dental Association (BDA) blames real terms cuts to NHS dentistry by the government.
BDA chair Eddie Crouch said: “Week in week out the Prime Minister tells MPs NHS dentistry is on the road to recovery.
“Patients in York are seeing the reality.
“When a big name like BUPA can’t make this broken system work, what hope is there for other practices?
“The government keeps peddling fiction that this service has more dentists, more funds, and a new contract.
“None of these claims stack up.
“If we’re going to save NHS dentistry, we need some honesty and ambition from the government.”
Mark Jones, founder of Toothless in England, said with one less dentistry in the city, more oral cancers will go unspotted.
“Whilst it is no longer viable for practices to continue providing NHS dentistry, it is now nearly impossible for patients to get their oral health checked up on a regular basis”, he said.
“The ramifications for the people of York are quite severe.
“Less and less oral cancers are being picked up.
“If people were seen by a dentist regularly, they would be able to pick those cancers up more easily.”
Mr Jones said the people of York “have a right to be angry” about the closure, adding: “This is happening on a weekly basis across the country”.
He said: “Other practices’ phones will be ringing off the hook and their staff will be put under stress and will probably be subject to abuse.
“It is not a great picture.”
The closure will deepen the dental care crisis in York. Last year, Healthwatch York reported a 30% decline in the number of residents with a dentist.
A Bupa spokesperson said: “We have taken the very difficult decision to close this practice due to the difficulty in recruiting dentists to deliver NHS care.
“We know the impact this will have on patients and will be supporting them to find an alternative care provider.
“We want to reassure patients that the practice is currently open as usual.
“The change is due to take place over the coming months, and we are writing to all patients to explain what it means for them.
“This will allow commissioners to procure new local providers, which will enable patients continued access to NHS dental services.
“We will be fully supporting our valued colleagues to explore alternative roles within Bupa”.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “There were over 500 more dentists delivering NHS care last year than in 2021 and we are working to further improve access to NHS dental care across the country by investing more than £3 billion a year.
“In addition, cancer is being diagnosed at an earlier stage more often, and the NHS has seen and treated record numbers of cancer patients over the last two years.
“It is vital that patients concerned about oral cancer seek advice from their dentist or GP as soon as they can.”