We would like to take this opportunity to advise our patients of major changes taking effect from Wednesday 1st November regarding NHS dental treatment in Scotland.
These changes will apply to all NHS treatments throughout Scotland and have been imposed by the Scottish Government to try and modernise NHS dentistry. Despite many assurances from the Scottish Government that these changes would be widely announced and publicised in the media, TV and radio there has been little evidence of this before these changes go live. All the changes to NHS treatments and costs are set by the Scottish Government and they apply across the board for every practice providing NHS care in Scotland. LRDC has no capacity to alter or change any of these costs. The changes apply only to NHS treatments and our private and Denplan patients will be unaffected.
The most significant change we will see is that most patients will no longer receive a routine NHS check up every 6 months. This change will apply to both adults and children. All our patients will undergo a risk assessment and those deemed to be at high risk of dental decay, gum disease or other disease will still be able to receive a 6 month check up. Most patients will fall into lower risk categories and will now be entitled to receive a routine NHS check up once a year. All NHS check ups will continue to be free of charge. We would like to emphasise that while access to routine NHS check ups will change, all patients will still be able to access the dentist if they have any issues that are troubling them such as pain, broken teeth, lost fillings, gum problems or checks of mouth conditions. Any patients with concerns should continue to call the practice immediately and we will arrange any appropriate appointments regardless of when you last had an NHS check up.
In order to simplify NHS treatment the number of different options the dentist can prescribe has been reduced from over 700 to under 50. In many cases, this will reduce complexity and confusion but some items which were previously available on NHS, such as porcelain veneers will no longer be.
The maximum charge payable for NHS treatment is currently £384 and this will not change. Those patients receiving free dental care will continue to receive this, as will those who receive help with paying costs. Anyone unsure of their circumstances should ask our reception staff who will help with guidance and advice as appropriate.
While the maximum charge has not changed and check ups remain free most other items have seen an increase in cost. Some items which previously were free of charge are now charged. For example, NHS denture repairs were previously free but under the new system will be £50.88. Our dentists and staff will answer any specific questions you may have regarding the cost of treatment at the time of your appointment.
We recognise that these changes will take some adjustment and there will be challenges ahead in the next few months as we all come to terms with the new systems. Please remember our staff are here to help you and will guide and inform all our patients during this period of change. Please treat them with respect and be patient as we all adapt to our new circumstances.
All these changes come into effect from 01/11/23. All appointments after this date which are already booked are still valid and should be attended as normal. Our dentists and staff will explain any changes you will see beyond this at the time of your appointment. Remember if you have any dental health concerns please call the practice on 01324 623300.