Dentists are launching the Save Your Practice campaign, calling on patients to get behind their dental practice.
The campaign is calling on patients to contact their MSP about a lack of access to an NHS dentist.
It comes after ‘repeated pleas’ went unanswered to discuss the situation with Scotland’s chief dental officer, Tom Ferris.
‘Despite all our calls to meet with us, the chief dental officer has only said that he will do so next year,’ Cameron McLarty, who runs the only dental practice on Bute, told The Sunday Post. ‘But it will be far too late by then.
‘We need to sit down right now. Or Scotland will effectively lose its NHS dental service. That is something none of us want to happen.
‘One of the things we could do immediately is begin offering NHS services again.
‘With the correct PPE and the use of the infection control practices we’ve all known and used for years, it is entirely safe to do so.
‘If we don’t, the government will preside over the closure of NHS dentistry as we know it.’
Scottish dentists refusing NHS treatment
The campaign launches with Scottish dentists more likely to refuse treatment for NHS patients than in England.
The Herald Scotland found that due to confusion over what treatments are available following lockdown, Scottish dentists are more likely to refuse NHS treatment.
Treatments are available privately however, with many practices looking to recoup the costs of PPE and lockdown.
‘There seems to be a bigger problem in Scotland, with dentists saying they are only treating patients if they are private,’ Professor Phil Taylor told the Herald.
‘I’m not sure about it, to be honest. It may be a cost thing, because it’s costing so much in PPE. The NHS fee isn’t covering this.
‘They can also pass on the cost of the PPE or upgrades to the practice to the private patient.
‘The cost of NHS dental treatment hasn’t changed very much since 1990.’