RESIDENTS have been left without vital dental care after their current practice closed suddenly.

Patients of the Bondgate Dental Practice in Helmsley were sent a letter last month from NHS England saying the NHS dental contract had ended and the surgery was closed.

More than 330 local residents have since joined a Facebook group, Save Helmsley Dentists, calling for the practice to be reopened.

Margaret Mackley, a member of the group, said: “My husband has been with this Helmsley dentist since he was a child. I have been with them since moving here 50 years and my children have been with them since they were small.

“What do we now do as all the local dentist around here have huge waiting lists.

“If you can’t drive how can you get to places like Great Ayton, which is one of the ones recommend by our MP Kevin Hollinrake.”

Another former patient, who asked not to be named, said he had been unable to eat a proper meal for over a year due to dental problems.

He said: “I moved to Helmsley last year and couldn’t find an NHS dentist. I have had problems with an upper denture to the extent that I can’t use it for eating, so for over a year now I’ve been on soft food.”

He said he had attended a private dentist but could not afford the treatment recommended.

“Even if Helmsley reopens there are probably too many folks to join a waiting list for treatment, so I’m stuck with not having had a proper meal, not even toast or crusty bread and will be for some time,” he added.

Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton, said talks had taken place to provide dental care for Helmsley residents affected by the recent closure of Bondgate surgery.

He said: “There will be more talks over the next few days with dental care providers to firm up details and once these arrangements have been finalised contract variations will be issued.

“NHS England will be seeking a number of assurances from contractors to confirm that the additional service will be for Helmsley residents only, that there is sufficient staffing within the current team to deliver it within the next few weeks and that there is scope to pick up the regular dentistry for these patients, when regular dentistry resumes.

“I will be keeping up the pressure for a swift resolution to the lack of dentistry provision in Helmsley and would continue to urge anyone who needs emergency dental treatment to contact the NHS at”