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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-19251: Anas Sarwar (Glasgow)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 5 October 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what impact the reduction in the frequency of (a) dental checks and (b) scale and polish treatments proposed in the Oral Health Improvement Plan might have on oral (i) health and (ii) cancer outcomes, and what evidence it considered when developing this proposal.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 29 October 2018

The Plan articulates a move to a preventive care system where patients would be seen according to their oral health need. This means that patients may be seen more frequently than currently if they have poor oral health and some less frequently if their level of oral health and general health justifies it. This model is supported by National Institute and Clinical Excellence (NICE) Guidelines on the frequency of dental check-ups.

The model of care we propose also includes an Oral Health Risk Assessment and personalised care plan for adult patients in relation to oral cancer, gum disease and decay according to their degree of risk. This is a considerable enhancement on the current check-up regime.

Patients who need a scale and polish will continue to receive this treatment. Recent evidence from the iQUAD study led by the University of Dundee and the Health Services Research Unit in the University of Aberdeen has informed the policy. In the future the emphasis will be on treating periodontal disease. For patients with periodontal disease or a high risk of developing it, the intention is to ensure these patients receive a clinically proven programme of periodontal care.