Calls for a dental school to be created in Norfolk have been unanimously backed by county councillors - but a warning has been issued that such a facility would not solve the 'dental desert' crisis overnight.

Kay Mason Billig, leader of Norfolk County Council is to lobby the government for a dental school to be established in the county, after every councillor backed a motion calling for action.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Kay Mason BilligKay Mason Billig (Image: Norfolk County Council)

The government is coming under increasing pressure to pump money into Norfolk to increase training places to help end the 'dental desert' which has left people in the county unable to get NHS treatment.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: The UEA is keen to create a dental school in NorfolkThe UEA is keen to create a dental school in Norfolk (Image: Newsquest)

The University of East Anglia is keen to create a dental school, while The Place - the community hub which is being established in Great Yarmouth's former Palmers department store - has also been mooted as a possible location.

The Conservatives at the county council tabled a motion to garner support from councillors in backing the bid - and every councillor agreed to do so at a meeting on Tuesday.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Fran WhymarkFran Whymark (Image: Archant)

Fran Whymark, the Conservative councillor who tabled the motion said children were ending up having to have teeth extracted in hospital because of a lack of access to NHS dentists.

He said: "Getting dental professionals into Norfolk is key and we could do that if we had a dental school here. It is essential."

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Terry JermyTerry Jermy (Image: Archant)

Labour councillor Terry Jermy said: "There are 10 dental training colleges around the country and not one of them is within the east of England."

But he said a dental school would not be enough. He said it would take five years to train dentists and that the NHS contract needed to be reformed so dentists would offer NHS dental care.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Rob ColwellRob Colwell (Image: Rob Colwell)

Liberal Democrat Rob Colwell suggested that the College of West Anglia would be a good base for a dental school.

He said: "It's currently a postcode lottery as to whether people travel 10 miles or 70 miles to get dental provision."

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Paul NealePaul Neale (Image: Norwich City Council)

Green councillor Paul Neale said it was essential that lobbying focus on better funding for dentistry, as well as for the dental school.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: People in Norfolk are struggling to find NHS dentistsPeople in Norfolk are struggling to find NHS dentists

All of Norfolk's MPs have backed the call for a Norfolk dentistry school.

Data from the Local Government Association shows Norfolk and Waveney has among some of the lowest numbers of dentists per 10,000 people in the country.