YOUR article highlighted what a shambles the dental treatment under the NHS now is ('Teething troubles', October 28). It surely is time that government ministers started to re-build this section of the National Health Service before it dies.

Sadly, the main point the article seemed to make was that we shouldn't expect to get treatment on the NHS but we should all go private because no NHS dentist can be bothered to do a full job, or so the "well known York dentist" states.

What an insult to a lot of hard working, dedicated NHS dentists who do give a good standard of treatment and don't just gauge it on how much the patient is paying.

Thank goodness the said dentist no longer works with NHS patients. His view of work ethics and commitment are not, hopefully, reflective of most dentists.

His remarks to the effect that most people can afford to pay is very short- sighted. I work full time. I do not drink or smoke, nor do I go on holidays abroad, I do not own my own house or car. I cannot afford to pay private dental fees as I'm sure a lot of people can't.

We need more people to raise the issue of lack of NHS dentists and perhaps someone, somewhere, will do something constructive about it.

Shamuna Aslam,

Howard Street, York.

Updated: 11:16 Thursday, October 31, 2002