Scotland faces shortage of NHS dentists

Almost 80,000 people in Scotland are on waiting lists to register with an NHS dentist, it’s claimed.

New figures have revealed that across Scotland the total number of people waiting for registration has gone down since last year by fewer than 3,000 to 79,375 people.

Overall, across Scotland, boards revealed that 79,375 people were on waiting lists for an NHS dentist – down only slightly on 82,166 the same time the previous year – and, in some large rural areas, numbers grew.

NHS Grampian said it had 31,798 people on its list compared to 30,936 the year before and, in the Borders, the figure was 7,500, up from 6,000 the previous year.

But NHS Highland, which has faced severe shortages of NHS dentists, saw the number waiting drop from 31,504 last year to 28,694 now.

The Scottish Government acknowledged that access to NHS dentistry remained a problem in some places and said action was being taken to address shortages.

A spokesperson said 81.7% of children and 63% of adults were now on NHS books.

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