Nine out of ten Scots are now registered with a dentist

NHS dental registration is at a record high. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
NHS dental registration is at a record high. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
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The number of people registered with an NHS dentist has reached record levels.

According to new figures, 4.9 million people - 91 per cent of the population - were registered as of March 31, up from 89 per cent in 2015 and 52 per cent in 2007.

Nine out of ten Scots are now registered with an NHS dentist. Picture: Callum Bennett

Nine out of ten Scots are now registered with an NHS dentist. Picture: Callum Bennett

The statistics also show 3.5 million people (72 per cent of those registered) have seen an NHS dentist in the past two years, up from 2.5 million in 2007.

A total of 94 per cent of children are registered and, for the first time, there is no difference in registrations between children living in the most and least deprived areas.

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For adults, 92 per cent of people in the most deprived areas were registered, with 85 per cent registered in the least deprived.

The rise follows rule changes for registrations.

Prior to April 2006, patient registration lapsed and the patient became de-registered with the dental practice after a period of 15 months if the patient had not attended in that time.

This has changed in the intervening years until April 2010 when “lifetime registration” was introduced.

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Children are more likely than adults to have seen an NHS dentist within the last two years, with the figures at 85 per cent and 69 per cent respectively.

Those from the most-deprived areas were less likely to see their dentist within the last two years than those from the least-deprived areas.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “It’s very encouraging to see that there is no longer a deprivation gap in dental registrations for children.

“Good oral health is something that everyone should be able to benefit from, regardless of their background or life circumstances.

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“The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that everybody who wants access to NHS dental services can receive it.

“We recognise that registration is only one part of the picture and we will continue to work to encourage people to attend their dentist on a regular basis, particularly in more deprived areas where attendance has historically been lower.”