Scottish Government launches new dental health policy


Having dentists treat elderly people in their own homes forms part of the new Scottish Government strategy on dental health.

The Oral Health Improvement Plan includes a series of recommendations to reduce health inequalities and prevent poor dental health.

As well as having dentists treat people cared for in their own homes, the plan recommends having care home visits from dental practitioners.

The government has pledged to set up a £500,000 community challenge fund in the next financial year which organisations can bid for to help improve oral health in deprived communities.

Recent statistics show the number of Scots registered with a dentist rose 95% in the past decade to five million but those living in the poorest areas are less likely to have visited in the previous 24 months.

Launching the plan, Health Secretary Shona Robison said: "Record numbers of Scots have access to NHS dentists, and as a nation our oral health is improving.

"But poor oral health is entirely preventable and we need to ensure we do all we can to tackle it, and break the link between oral health and deprivation.

"The Oral Health Improvement Plan will support the profession to spend more time on what they do best - providing excellent care for the patients who need it most.

"We will reach out beyond dental practices to support communities to find innovative ways to support people lead healthier lives - particularly in deprived areas or among older people."

Professor Lorna Macpherson of Glasgow University Dental School added: "The Oral Health Improvement Plan - with its focus on prevention, community initiatives and ?services for older people - is exactly the dental public health approach Scotland should be adopting."