Scottish Government scraps recommendations for 6-monthly check-ups in oral health shake-up

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The Scottish Government has scrapped recommendations for 6-monthly check-ups as part of a shake-up of oral health services.

As part of a revamp of NHS dental services across the country, patients will not be advised to go to the dentist every 6 months, with new guidelines advising patients with healthy teeth and gums to wait up to 2 years to see a dentist. Experts involved in creating the new oral health strategy believe that there is no need for patients to attend routine checks every 6 months.

Scale and polishes will also be phased out as part of the programme, which has been billed by the government as a campaign to improve standards of oral health and reduce the gap between richer and poorer parts of the country. According to those involved in drafting plans, there is little clinical evidence to support the efficacy of scale and polish services.

In response to the news, the British Dental Association has warned that reducing the range of NHS services on offer could have a negative impact on patients. Although guidelines suggest that patients with an increased risk of dental health problems should see a dentist more frequently, there are many people that will see the headlines and assume that they don’t need to go to the dentist more frequently than twice a year.

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