Dental patients in Scotland could face 12-month wait for check-ups
Patients in Scotland could be facing a wait of around 12 months to see a dentist, it has emerged.
As practices all over the country have closed due to the Coronavirus, there are concerns that a backlog of cases will prevent patients from being able to access routine appointments for a year.
At present, dentists are only providing emergency dental care, and it is not yet known when surgeries will reopen. Once they do open, it will take time to catch up with procedures and appointments that were postponed prior to the lockdown, and this means that some patients could be waiting a long time to see a dentist.
Urgent dental centres are open 7 days a week and some dentists have been redeployed to help health workers in other settings. A Glasgow dentist who is helping out at one of the city’s hospitals said that he had heard that it would take around a year to catch up and work through the expected backlog of cases. A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government suggested that patients who need treatment sooner would be prioritised once clinics reopen and appointments are available.
For the moment, patients who do need to see a dentist are encouraged to contact their regular practice for advice. Dentists are offering guidance over the phone, and they can also prescribe medication. If a patient does need urgent care, they will be given an appointment at one of the emergency clinics. Once practices are up and running again, patients who had treatments booked will be contacted to rearrange appointments.Join this Discussion