National dental inspection programme
An Official Statistics publication for Scotland
Basic Inspection programme of P1 children in school year 2021/22
- 25 October 2022 (Latest release)
- Public Health Scotland
- Primary care
About this release
This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) provides information on findings of the Basic Inspection programme of Primary 1 children in local authority schools during the school year 2021/22. The National Dental Inspection Programme (NDIP) is carried out under the auspices of the Scottish Dental Epidemiology Co-ordinating Committee on behalf of NHS Boards.
This year the inspection programme was affected by the public health measures imposed on dental services during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak. These included more limited access to schools and the transfer of dental staff to other duties e.g., the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme.
- 73.1% of the Primary 1 children inspected in 2022, were estimated to have no obvious decay experience.
Percentage of Primary 1 children in Scotland with no obvious decay experience in 2022; by NHS Board
* NHS Highland and NHS Western Isles are excluded due to completion issues
NHS Board Abbreviations: Scot=Scotland, AA=Ayrshire & Arran, B=Borders, DG=Dumfries & Galloway, F=Fife, FV=Forth Valley, G=Grampian, GGC=Greater Glasgow & Clyde, LA=Lanarkshire, Lo=Lothian, O=Orkney, S=Shetland, T=Tayside.
- 73.5% of Primary 1 children displayed no obvious decay experience in the 2020 NDIP Report.
- The proportion of children estimated to have severe decay or abscess increased from 6.6% in 2020 to 9.7% in 2022.
- Inequalities remain, with 58.4% of Primary 1 children estimated to have no obvious decay experience in the most deprived areas (SIMD 1), compared with 85.8% in the least deprived areas (SIMD 5).
The National Dental Inspection Programme is carried out annually under the auspices of the Scottish Dental Epidemiology Co-ordinating Committee on behalf of NHS Boards. Its principal aims are to inform parents/carers of the dental health status of their children and, through appropriately anonymised, aggregated data, advise the Scottish Government, NHS Boards and other organisations concerned with children’s health of dental disease prevalence at national and local levels. This ensures that reliable dental health information is available for planning initiatives
directed towards health improvements.
Due to the COVID-19 public health measures in place until January 2022 it was agreed that dental staff would undertake only a Basic Primary 1 inspection. These public health measures impacted on the numbers of children able to be seen as part of the Basic Inspection, with one NHS Board (NHS Western Isles) unable to inspect any children and five NHS Boards were unable to see all their Primary 1 children. Despite the limitations, approximately 76% of all Primary 1 children in Scotland were seen, compared to around 88% during a typical year.
The Basic Inspection involves a simple assessment of the mouth using a light, mirror and ball-ended probe; ‘no obvious decay experience’ is recorded when there are no obviously decayed, missing or filled teeth. Parents/Carers are informed of the outcome of the Basic Inspection including their child's dental health needs and advised to seek dental services accordingly.
The next release of this publication will be 24 October 2023.
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Older versions of this publication
Versions of this publication released before 16 March 2020 may be found on the Data and Intelligence, Health Protection Scotland or Improving Health websites.