The BDA Scotland has expressed dismay at the latest figures showing the number of Scots missing out on NHS dentistry.
Figures released yesterday showed 92% of Scots are now registered with an NHS dentist, however only 72% of those registered had seen their dentist in the last two years, meaning that close to 2 million people are missing out on NHS dental services overall (including those not registered with an NHS dentist).
At the time Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Health, called the figures ‘encouraging’ saying the availability of NHS dental services has substantially improved under the current government.
‘The Scottish government must stop boasting about “record breaking” registration rates,’ Robert Donald, chair of the BDA’s Scottish Dental Practice Committee, said.
‘The facts are nearly two million Scots are not getting the NHS dental treatment they are entitled to.’
Children and adults from the most deprived areas of Scotland were less likely to visit their dentist, the survey found.
Only 81% of children and 64% of adults from the most deprived areas of Scotland have seen their NHS dentist in the past two years, compared with 90% of children and 75% of adults from the least deprived areas.
The British Dental Association (BDA) Scotland is now calling on the government to help boost participation among adults in more deprived areas of Scotland to help combat the ‘significantly high’ oral cancer incidence rate experienced in Scotland.
‘Scotland can take pride in what it’s achieved when it comes to fighting decay among children,’ Robert Donald continued.
‘Now Ministers must show some of the same determination to get adults, particularly those from deprived communities, to attend.
‘Our oral cancer is on the rise and early detection is key.
‘It’s not enough to get high-risk adults on our books or on some government spreadsheet.
‘We need real support to get these patients in our chairs.’