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Patients needing complex dental work might have to wait longer under new NHS targets, dentists warn.

The British Dental Association fears NHS England will impose penalties on practices that fail to reach 45% of their normal activity level, after negotiations broke down.

And practices may have to prioritise routine check-ups over more time-consuming treatments.

A check-up lasts 20 minutes – but an urgent filling takes about an hour.

An NHS official said: “The NHS and the government are working to determine a safe and reasonable contractual arrangement with dentists, which recognises the constraints on practices and the need to maximise access for patients to see their

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