Scottish dental patients could be waiting over a year for an appointment
Dental patients in Scotland are facing a lengthy wait for treatment, as statistics suggest that appointment numbers have fallen by over 80% during the pandemic.
Patients in Scotland could be waiting over a year to see a dentist, with over 4 million appointments cancelled in the last 18 months. Backlogs are growing, and dentists are dealing with a surge in the demand for treatment after fees for under-25s were scrapped under new Scottish Government guidelines.
David McColl, chair of the British Dental Association’s Scottish Dental Practice Committee, said that dentistry is one of the worst affected areas of the health service and described current conditions as “light-years from business as usual.”
Ministers have promised free dental care for all in the future, with the first wave now in action for under 25’s, but Mr McColl said that this is a “promise that can’t be kept.”
The BDA claims that easing some of the remaining restrictions on dental practices could help to reduce waiting times, but stressed that the situation was deteriorating before the pandemic hit.
Now, after a period of lockdown and many months of working within limitations, dentists are facing unprecedented challenges, with backlogs to tackle and waiting times increasing.
Many patients are angry but dental teams are doing everything possible to prioritise urgent cases and open services up as far as is currently permitted.
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