Scottish Government launches new oral health strategy

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The Scottish Government has unveiled plans for a brand new oral health strategy, which proposes to build on the success of programmes aimed to benefit both children and adults. The Oral Health Improvement Plan comprises of a series of measures introduced to reduce the gap between affluent and deprived areas and prevent more people from developing oral health diseases.

The proposals recommend improved services for the elderly, with measures including dentists visiting elderly patients in their own homes and improving access to dental care in care homes on the agenda. Another major target is to improve standards of dental health in poorer communities and the government has set aside a fund worth £500,000, which is available to organisations to bid for. Bodies that would like to implement strategies to boost oral health in these areas will be able to submit bids in order to secure funding for their programmes.

Standards of dental health have been improving year on year in Scotland over the course of the last decade and more people are now registered with a dentist than ever before. However, there are still differences between richer and poorer areas and the government is keen to plug these gaps and to focus on groups that may find it difficult to access NHS dental care.

Speaking at the launch of the plan, Health Minister Shona Robison said that there have been major changes in standards of dental health, but dental diseases are almost always preventable and there is definitely still room for further improvement.

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