NHS dental registrations in Scotland have jumped by 2 million in the last 10 years, new statistics have shown.
Of those registered with an NHS dentist, 94% of adults were from the most deprived areas of Scotland compared with 85% in the least deprived areas.
‘These new figures are very encouraging and show the great progress that has been made in the last 10 years,’ Cabinet Secretary for Health, Shona Robison, said.
‘Availability of NHS dental services has improved substantially under this government and we remain committed to ensuring that everybody who wants access to NHS dental services can receive it.
‘Substantial investment by this government, and the actions taken by NHS boards, means that across Scotland 4.9 million people were registered for NHS dental services at September 2016 compared with 2.6 million at March 2007.’
Patients visiting an NHS dentist
The number of patients visiting an NHS dentist has risen too, the figures have shown.
Of those registered with an NHS dentist, 72% (3.5 million) have visited over the last two years, an increase of 36% (2.56 million) since the last survey, in the two years prior to September 2006.
Children were also more likely to visit an NHS dentist in the last two years, 85% compared with 68% for adults.
‘To help address child dental health inequalities we will, as part of the Fairer Scotland Action Plan 2016, from 1 April 2017 begin to extend coverage of the “Childsmile” national oral health improvement programme to reach even more comparatively deprived communities,’ Shona Robison continued.
However, children and adults from the most deprived areas were less likely (81% of children and 64% of adults) to have seen their dentist in the past two years when compared with the least deprived areas (90% of children and 75% of adults).
The survey can be found at www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Dental-Care/Publications.