Date lodged: 12 July 2018
To ask the Scottish Government how it will ensure that the proposal in the Oral Health Improvement Plan to increase the interval between routine dental examinations for adults from six months to two years will not reduce the rates of early detection of oral cancer, in light of the role of dentists in identifying it.
Answered by: Jeane Freeman 23 July 2018
There are no plans to increase the interval between routine dental examination from six months to two years. As part of the new programme of preventive care we will over time be introducing an Oral Health Risk Assessment (OHRA) for adult NHS patients. This is a considerable enhancement on the current check-up regime where patients will receive tailored advice on how to manage and look after their oral health.
The OHRA is an important step forward and is also supported by the latest clinical evidence. The patient will receive a personalised care plan in relation to oral cancer, gum disease and decay according to their degree of risk. We believe that the assessment will also ensure a closer patient-professional relationship than at present.
We have consulted widely on these proposals following a major consultation exercise in 2016 and will continue to work closely with patient groups and dental professionals as we develop the way forward.