Health chiefs in Scotland have approved plans for a new band of dental therapists to be trained in Edinburgh in a bid to improve access to NHS treatment.
The new School of Dental Therapy in The Edinburgh Dental Institute at Lauriston Place will be introduced as part of a multi-million-pound overhaul of the building.
Ten new dental therapists will be trained every year at the centre, and it is hoped they will choose to stay in the Lothians once qualified. More than half of all adults and over a quarter of children in the Lothians are currently not registered with an NHS dentist.
Colwyn Jones, NHS Lothian’s consultant in dental public health, said: ‘We are delighted that we are now going to provide training for dental therapists in Edinburgh. NHS Lothian is committed to continually improving and modernising our care services and this includes dental services.
‘We expect to train ten new dental therapists each year. They will form a valuable and integral part of the dental team. Dental therapists carry out dental work on children and adults, including fillings, advice on improving oral hygiene, smoking cessation and healthy diets.’
The first therapists are expected to begin their training next autumn.