Edinburgh dentists: Dental crisis in Edinburgh sees 75 per cent of surgeries closed to NHS patients

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
It’s becoming ‘nearly impossible’ for adults to access NHS dentist services in the Capital.

Three quarters of dentists in Edinburgh offering NHS services are not accepting new adult patients, the Evening News can reveal.

Our findings show the extent of the crisis in dental services in the Capital, with only 23 out of 86 dentists across the city able to register new NHS adult patients. At least one third of those accepting adults said patients faced long waits from six months up to two years. Only eight of those said patients could get an appointment without joining a waiting list and several are only currently accepting NHS child patients.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Several told us they are reviewing whether to continue to operate a waiting list in the future. More than ten of the 63 not accepting adult patients have closed waiting lists. One said they were recently forced to close their waiting list after it reached 1,000 patients over capacity. Several of the dentists appeared on the latest table from NHS Lothian of dentists accepting adult patients as of May 31 but since then some have already closed waiting lists.

Three quarters dentists not taking NHS adult patientsThree quarters dentists not taking NHS adult patients
Three quarters dentists not taking NHS adult patients

It has sparked fresh fears that NHS dentists are becoming increasingly inaccessible. Lothians MSP Miles Briggs said the figures show it’s becoming ‘nearly impossible’ to access a dentist on the NHS in Edinburgh.

Mr Briggs said: “We knew the situation was bad in Edinburgh but these figures show it’s getting close to impossible to access a dentist on the NHS. Ministers have been warned for years how grim it is. People have reported to us being forced to turn up at A&E because they can’t get appointments. Dentists have been saying for a while they can’t cope. It’s even more worrying that people on waiting lists are unlikely to see an appointment any time soon. The reality is stark. These figures have to be seen as a wake-up call.”

Sarah Boyack MSP said: “Patients across Edinburgh are being routinely let-down by the lack of NHS Dental provision.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We are now seeing the devastating effects of the SNP mismanagement of our NHS, with patients spending months suffering unnecessarily whilst they are unable to see an NHS Dentists.

“This cannot carry on. The SNP must act now to ensure all Edinburgh residents are able to access vital NHS dentistry services.”

Jenny Long, director of primary care for NHS Lothian, said: "We are acutely aware of the challenges around access to NHS dentistry in Edinburgh, which is also evident across Scotland. Dental practices are independent contractors to the NHS, and the General Dental Services contract is a national contract negotiated by Scottish Government. The Chief Dental Officer is currently undertaking a review of this contract, and this is crucial in improving access to NHS general dentistry. Details of all dental practices across Scotland are listed on the NHS Inform website. In addition, to support patients, the NHS Lothian website includes information about practices in Lothian that may be taking on new patients.“We remain committed to ensuring access to urgent dental care for all Lothian residents. Patients who are unregistered and who require urgent dental care can access the Emergency Dental Service by contacting Chalmers Dental Centre on 0131 536 4800, Monday to Friday between 9am and 4.30pm. Outwith these hours, please contact NHS24 on 111 for access to emergency dental care.”

Practices accepting NHS patients

Bellevue Dental – Easter Road Dental practice (from August) – 4 Great Stuart Street (deposit £30) – Citrus Dental Practice (only accepting children) – Leith Walk Dental –Edinburgh Dental (first available appointment would be December) – Edinburgh Orthodontics – (waiting list 12 months) – KF Dental (open waiting lists from August/September) Ardmillan Dental Practice – (first appointment October) – Scottish Orthodontics – EH 10 Dental – Portobello Dental Clinic – Q Court Dental (wait list 3 to 4 months) – Seven Hills Dental – Brite Dental Gilmerton (wait list 6 to 12 months) Shanks Dental care (under 18s only) – East Craigs Dental (wait list expected first appointment 12 months) –Westside Dental Care (wait list up to 12 months) – Earl Grey Dental – Sean Murphy Dental – Great Junction Dental practice (wait list) – Corstorphine Dental Care (wait list) – Frederick Street Dental (wait list up to eight months) Abbeymount Dental (wait list up to two years)

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Practices NOT accepting NHS patients

Holyrood Dental (wait list closed currently 500) – Vitality Dental Care – Annandale Dental Care – LW Dental (wait list closed) – Montgomery Street Dental Care – Ninetyfive Dental – New Town Dental Care – University Dental care – Lauriston Dental care (kids NHS but only if parent privately registered) – Pilrig Dental – Edinburgh Dental Studio (kids NHS but only if parents registered privately) – Meadowbank Dental – Howard Place Dental practice – City Health Clinic – Hope Park Dental (kids NHS if parents privately registered) –Parkside Dental – Gilmore Dental (kids if parents privately registered) – Marchmont Dental Care – Integrated Dental Care – Stuart Steven Dental – Meadows Dental Clinic (children if parents registered privately) – Goldenacre – Bruntsfield Dental – Barbour Dental – Bupa Dental Care Prestonfield – Church Hill Dental (no wait list and 1000 patients over capacity) Mydentist Commercial Quay – Vitaliteeth Dental Spa (wait list closed) – Morningside Dental Clinic – EH Dental – Southside Dental Care – Slateford Dental (kids if parents registered privately) – Comiston Dental – Morningside Drive Dental – Craigmillar Dental Centre – Murrayfield Dental practice – JLR O’Donnell – Duddingston Dental Practice –MyDentist Portobello (wait list closed) – The Cross Dental Practice (wait list closed) – Dental Express – Davidson’s Mains Dental – La Belle Court – Fairmilehead Dental (kids only if parent is registered privately) – Sunrise Dental Clinic – St John’s Road Dental practice (wait list closed) – Barnton Dental – Enhance Dental Care – Mydentist Tesco Corstorphine – Hailesland Dental (wait list closed) – Colinton Dental – Craigentinny Dental Care (wait list closed) – Juniper Dental Care (wait list closed) – Currie Dental Care – Riccarton Dental Practice (wait list closed) – Edinburgh Gums and Teeth – Haymarket Dental – Newkirkgate Dental – Barron Dental – Ocean Drive – Gorgie Road Dental – Battison Dental

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.