Updated: Oct 18
Starting from November 1, 2023, significant changes are coming to NHS dentistry in Scotland, marking the most significant "shake-up" in recent times. We would like to stress that these changes are for the whole of Scotland and we have had no input into them. We want to make patients aware of these changes and hopefully answer any questions that you many have, so here's a concise breakdown of what you can expect:
Increased Fees for Most Treatments:
Be prepared for some changes in the cost of treatment under the NHS. The increases vary greatly with some being modest and others being considerably more noticeable. Many of these changes are in response to issues with fees in past years being insufficient to cover required cost of certain treatments which, in itself, resulted in a decrease in NHS committed practices over the years. The table below highlights examples of some of these changes:
Please note that the above table provides just a few examples, documents containing the full list of NHS fees are available here: https://www.scottishdental.org/professionals/statement-of-dental-remuneration
Changes in Recall Frequencies:
Perhaps the most noticeable change is the adjustment in recall frequencies for dental check-ups. Previously, patients were recalled every 6 months for examinations. However, moving forward, the recommended intervals on NHS for recalls will be at 12, 18, or 24 months. This means that you will likely not receive a recall notice as frequently as before and most likely 12 months will become the standard recall period.
Please note; If your last exam was before 1st November 2023 and have a recall exam booked within a year from this date then this is still allowed as recall intervals will be reset from this date.
We would still recommend 6 monthly recalls as being appropriate for most patients but this is not our decision to when we are allowed to see NHS patients.
If you prefer to maintain your 6-month recall schedule, we offer Denplan membership as an option to maintain this. Denplan ensures that you continue to receive your biannual dental check-ups as well as regular premium hygienist visits and more clinical freedom for the best care. For more details about Denplan and its benefits, please visit our webpage here:
What's not changing:
While these changes will be noticeable many core parts of NHS dentistry will remain the same:
Exemptions for eligible patients will remain the same. Anyone receiving benefits such as universal credit, anyone who is pregnant or given birth in the last 12 months or under the age of 26 years old, is still exempt from paying for their NHS dental treatment. Patients on low incomes and who are not exempt from paying for their treatment under the previous list may receive a discount on their NHS treatment by completing an HC1 form which can be collected from reception or access here: https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/sites/default/files/2017-05/HC1-scotland-health-costs-help-claim-form.pdf
Most of the rules regarding what treatment is available and under what circumstances remain the same. For example, Amalgam fillings are still to be provided for fillings of molar teeth including the biting surface, white crown will not be provided for molar teeth and dentures can only be replaced once per year unless following extraction of a tooth.
The maximum fee for any NHS course of treatment remains at £384.
As these changes to NHS dentistry in Scotland take effect, we are committed to ensuring your dental care remains accessible and convenient. If you have any questions or concerns about these changes or, if you would like to explore Denplan membership as an option for maintaining your 6-month recalls, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01698 285726.
We understand that changes can be unsettling, but we are here to support you every step of the way. Your oral health remains our top priority, and we will continue to provide the highest level of care for you and your family.
To ensure you stay up to date on important information relating to the practice such as this please make sure to update your email address with reception.