THE OWNERS of a dental clinic in Dumfries have taken the decision to close the service, with messaging going out to patients to inform them of this move.
Scottish Dental Care have issued a letter confirming the closure of Lochthorn Dental Clinic. This will result in the de-registration of 2556 NHS patients by Scottish Dental Care.
In the letter, it notes that the decision has not been taken lightly but that the dental sector is facing a severe shortage of dental professionals which is making patient care within certain areas very difficult to deliver.
Scottish Dental Care also operate Dumfries Dental Clinic and Implant Centre in Dumfries High Street, and they are extending an offer to register Lochthorn patients at the High Street clinic on a private basis.
Director of Public Health Valerie White said: “The situation regarding access to NHS dental services in Dumfries and Galloway is a significant concern and one the Board is taking very seriously.
“We continue to work with all dental practices across the region that are struggling to recruit and retain dentists to encourage and support the provision of NHS general dental services. We are also continuing to work closely with Scottish Government colleagues on these matters.
“However, lack of dentists coming to work in the region is the key issue, compounded by challenges in dental workforce numbers that are being seen across the UK.”
Unfortunately no dental practices in the region are able to offer NHS registration for new patients.
Anyone who is not registered with a dentist and requires emergency dental care can access that by contacting the Dental Helpline on 0845 602 6417.
Meanwhile, information on maintaining dental health can be accessed via the newly-established local website https://dghscp.co.uk/dental-health/