Mixed report card for Borders’ dental stats

New statistics for dental registration and participation in the Borders have been cautiously welcomed after revealing a mixed picture.

Figures released by NHS Scotland Information Services Division have shown people living in the NHS Borders catchment area to be the most likely to attend or ‘participate’ with their dentist across the whole of Scotland. This is defined as those who have been for an examination or had treatment with an NHS dentist at some point in the last two years.

75.7% of adults in the Borders attended their dentist recently, the best rate in Scotland, and well above the Scottish average of 65.4%.

Figures for children were also encouraging with 91.1% attending the dentist which was again the best in Scotland. The Scottish average was 83.7%.

However, participation rates for children and adults have been falling consistently since records began in 2006.

Despite the best participation statistics in Scotland, 1 in 10 children are not registered with an NHS dentist in the Borders – the worst in Scotland. 89.7% are not registered compared to a national average of 94.3%.

Commenting John Lamont MP said: “Overall, the people of the Borders appear to be doing well when it comes to their dental health. It is good to see NHS Borders performing the best in Scotland on some measures.

“However, some of these figures are more worrying. It is disappointing that 1 in 10 children are not registered with their NHS dentist. It’s also disappointing that the percentage of people visiting their dentists has been consistently falling for more than a decade.

“Dental health is really important and starting our children off at a young age will ensure that they continue to visit their dentist for check-ups throughout their life.