Decline in dental treatments by over 75% in 2020-2021


Recent statistics show that in Scotland, the quantity of dental treatments done totalled just ¼ of the number from the preceding year. Covid restrictions took a toll on the dental industry, the Public Health Scotland have announced that there was a sharp dip in treatments of approximately 3.5 million.

Less than 1 million adults experienced dental treatment in 2020 and 2021 compared to well over 4 million in 2019. Children also saw a drop with just over 100,000 in 2020 and 2021 instead of almost 500,000 in 2019. Both of these statistics combined make a total decline of over 76%.

“Less than 1 million adults experienced dental treatment in 2020 and 2021“

Payments to dental clinics made via the NHS GDS (General Dental Service) fell to just under £136 million, over 160 million below the preceding 12 months- an all-time record low. However, dentists were given supplementary payments for economic support during the pandemic.

After restrictions limited the treatments done in clinics, urgent dental centres had to be put in place to give mandatory care for patients who were desperate. Even since the easing of pandemic restrictions, the BDA still admits it was coping with an "unprecedented backlog".

Chair of the BDA’s dental practice council in Scotland, David McColl, said "This new data underlines the sheer perversity of government plans to pretend Covid is yesterday's news. Withdrawing emergency funding will pull away the life support from hundreds of dedicated NHS practices serving communities across Scotland."

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