A former pub landlord who was refused dental treatment because of his weight says he was left feeling “insulted” by the incident.
David Bottomley, 65, had travelled from Penderyn in south Wales to the Dental Lounge in Glynneath for dental surgery.
However, after arriving he was informed that his 22 stone weight was more than the clinic's dental chair could hold and that his appointment would not go ahead.
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Despite being a regular patient at the Dental Lounge for a decade, David was struck off the patient list because of the way he spoke to staff in retaliation.
Dentist chairs usually have a weight limit of around 20 stone and overweight patients often have to be referred somewhere with specialist equipment.
David says he was left “angry” and “upset after waiting several months for treatment and catching two buses to get to his appointment.
The Dental Lounge in Glynneath said patients who are too heavy for their chair are routinely directed to the Swansea Bay community bariatric dental service instead.
David said he is surprised that “in 2023 a dentist can't cater for people who are overweight”.
“It took me two hours to get to the dentist because I have to get two buses from Penderyn to Glynneath,” he said in quotes reported by the Daily Mail.
“I sat down after getting there and began filling in an app about myself. About five minutes later while I was still filling it out she called me over and said 'Unfortunately sir, you're too big and our chairs will not be able to cope with your weight'.”
“I found it insulting. I did become angry and I did raise my voice, but I wasn't abusive and I didn't swear.
“The dentist came out and told me I needed to leave and I'd be struck off the list.
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“Is it my problem that their chairs don't work? I need urgent dental care.
“I wasn't rude to anyone and I really feel unfairly treated and sad by what has happened.”
He added the surgery's response was “an insult” and said his weight has not changed over the last 20 years.
A spokesman for Glynneath Dental Lounge said: “While we cannot comment on Mr Bottomley's case in detail, we can offer assurances that we acted in line with agreed health and safety guidance.
“Chairs used to treat patients have weight limits, which means it would be unsafe to use them to provide dental care to any patient who is over this limit.
“We are sorry to hear that Mr Bottomley has raised these concerns, but we are more than happy to discuss it with him further if he would like to contact us directly.”
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