General Dental Service
The NHS General Dental Service (GDS) is usually the first point of contact for NHS dental treatment. The majority of GDS is provided by independent dentists ("High Street dentists") who have arrangements with NHS boards to provide GDS. People register with a dentist in order to receive the full range of NHS treatment available under GDS.
Historically, there were a number of salaried dentists who also provided GDS. Salaried dentists were directly employed by NHS boards and provided an alternative service to independent dentists when this was considered the best solution to meet local needs. People could also register with salaried dentists.
Historically, the Community Dental Service (CDS) provided a 'safety net' dental service for people who were unable to obtain care through the GDS, such as patients with special care needs or patients living in areas where there were few NHS dentists providing GDS. It was not possible to register with the CDS and data in relation to patients seen by a community dentist were not collected or counted as part of the national dental database.
From 1 January 2014 the salaried dental service merged with the CDS to become the Public Dental Service (PDS).
The main role of PDS dentists is to provide GDS for people who cannot access care from an independent dentist. People previously registered with a salaried dentist will remain registered under the PDS. People who were seen by the CDS will now be able to register with PDS dentists.
There are three main areas of GDS information published by ISD:
Registrations and Participation
This section provides data on
- the number and level of people registered with an NHS dentist across Scotland and over time
- the extent to which the registered population participates in NHS General Dental Services across Scotland and over time
This section provides data on the fees dentists are paid for the treatment they provide to their patients under NHS General Dental Services.
This section provides data on all the treatments NHS General Dentists prescribe and provide to their patients.
ISD also provides the data for the Scottish Dental Practice Board's Annual Reports.