Some dentists working in the General Dental Service (GDS) may also work in the Hospital Dental Service (HDS) or Community Dental Service (CDS), usually as a hospital practitioner or a clinical assistant ("Para 107").
There are various ways of calculating the number of dentists. Classification of counting dentists was revised in 2004 to ensure a consistent way of recording dentist numbers. A dentist is counted once for each NHS board where he/she has a contract or arrangement to provide dental services. As a result, the sum of the number of dentists in each NHS board area or in each region will exceed the number of dentists in Scotland (where a dentist is only counted once). Data for previous years have been revised to eliminate double counting between the different services and within the GDS.
Due to improvements in the collection of information on salaried GDS dentists, figures for September 2005 include some GDS salaried dentists not previously recorded. There are a number of cases where a salaried GDS post will be recorded under a generic name and not under the name of a specific dentist. Numerous dentists may work in such a post at any given time. Prior to September 2005, it was assumed that, since there was no named individual recorded, a permanent dentist was not in post. As a result, all posts recorded without a named individual were excluded from salaried GDS dentist counts. However, information is now available on the individuals who fill these posts. These dentists can now be included in the salaried GDS dentist count, which has resulted in a significant increase in the number of salaried dentists.
The latest (2016) dental workforce report is a further collaboration between NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and NHS National Services Scotland (NSS). The purpose of this latest report in the dental workforce series is to provide analysis, intelligence and modelling to support workforce planning for dental services in Scotland.