Improved payment system to expand services.
NHS dental teams will receive increased fees under a new payment structure which will help them to provide enhanced NHS care and treatment.
Developed in partnership with the dental sector and as part of the Oral Health Improvement Plan, the reforms also include an additional £10 million from the Scottish Government to support the delivery of laboratory-based treatment items, such as dentures.
The updated system will drive greater consideration of patients’ specific oral health needs, with more focus on patient-centred care such as preventative periodontal – gum disease – treatment.
For dentists it will streamline Item of Service payments by reducing the numbers of fees from over 700 to 45, cutting bureaucracy and giving them greater authority over the treatments offered.
While patients that are required to pay a NHS charge are likely to see an increase in costs, this will be dependent on overall treatment plan. Around 40% of patients will continue to receive free NHS care and treatment, as they did under the previous arrangements.
Anyone struggling to pay for their dental care is urged to visit NHS Inform to view the support available. Patients can check if they are exempt from NHS dental charges by visiting NHS Inform.
For those not eligible for exemption but on a low income, financial support is available via the NHS low income scheme. Patients can apply for this support by completing a HC1 form. Paper copies can be picked up at community pharmacies, GP practices, Citizens Advice Scotland offices and Jobcentre Plus offices.