New figures have revealed a drastic shortage in the number of people in Scotland registered with an NHS dentist.
More than half of adults and almost a third of children are not registered, the statistics, from ISD Scotland, have showed.
The number of people who have an NHS dentist increased slightly – by 0.3 per cent – between March and June this year, but the figures also showed that only 46.5% of adults and 67.5% of children were registered with an NHS dentist.
There were also wide regional variations, with just 27.7% of adults in the Highland area registered, compared with 55% in Glasgow. For children, rates varied from 37% in the Western Isles to 73% in Tayside.
Shona Robison, the public health minister, said: ‘While I am pleased that there have been increases in both child and adult dental registrations in the last quarter, we know there is a lot more work to be done.’
Tory health spokesman Mary Scanlon added: ‘To have a third of all children and over half of adults not registered with a dentist is a disgraceful state of affairs. Over the past seven years there has been a fall of 45,644 children registered, and 81,695 adults.’