Report reveals persistent Scottish oral health inequalities

18 December, 2018 / infocus
 

Longstanding oral health inequalities remain a problem in Scotland, according to the latest National Dental Inspection Programme Report*.

The report highlights stark differences across Scotland. For example, the percentage of Primary 1 children free from dental decay in Dumfries and Galloway (67 per cent) is 17 percentage points lower than in Orkney (84 per cent).

Similarly, the percentage of Primary 1 children free from dental decay in the most deprived areas is 30 percentage points worse than in the least deprived areas (56 per cent versus 86 per cent), and the gap increased by 3 percentage points from the previous report.

Figures also show that the percentage of children free from dental decay in the most deprived areas (56 per cent) still falls short of the government’s 2010 target of
60 per cent.

The British Dental Association (BDA) in Scotland is urging the Scottish Government to go further and faster to tackle what it calls “the alarming oral health inequalities in Scotland”. Robert Donald, Chair of the BDA’s Scottish Council, said: “Dentists have applauded the progress secured through Childsmile, but this data is a stark reminder that the Scottish Government cannot rest on
its laurels.

“Scotland’s oral health gap had shown signs of closing, and we must ensure hard-won progress is not undone. Ministers now need to go further and faster to tackle the scandal of these deep and persistent health inequalities.”

* You can see the National Dental Inspection Programme Report here

Tags: Health / inequalities

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