Deputy Minister for Health and Community Care Lewis Macdonald has officially opened NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's new Emergency Dental Treatment Centre (EDTC). Situated within the Glasgow Dental Hospital and School, the new Centre has been re-opened following an extensive £900, 000 refurbishment and extension programme.
The Minister toured the new facility, which has been expanded to include eight surgery rooms (increased from three prior to the redevelopment), a special needs surgery and state-of-the-art dental apparatus and digital x-ray equipment. The Centre provides an important emergency treatment daytime service for patients who are not registered with a dentist, and an out of hours evening service for all patients who require urgent dental treatment outwith normal practice hours.
Deputy Health Minister Lewis Macdonald said: "The newly expanded and refurbished dental treatment centre here in Glasgow is a great example of the work we are doing across Scotland to improve access to NHS dentistry and create state-of-the-art facilities.
"Thousands more patients across Glasgow will now be able to access dental services in an emergency at the expanded centre, funded through the Primary Care and Community Care Premises Modernisation Programme.
"And it is also envisaged that the expanded service will help patients to register with NHS dentists for routine treatment, ensuring they benefit from preventative oral care."
Significant investment in staff is also apparent within the Centre, which is run by a dedicated team of dentists and dental nurses. One critical aim of the redevelopment has been to reinforce the EDTC's status as a vital centre of learning for future generations of Scottish dentists. Student outreach training will take place at the EDTC for final year dental students. Four students each day attend the department to gain experience in the diagnosis and management of emergency dental patients. From early March, the training of dental nurses will also begin within the EDTC, run in conjunction with NHS Education Scotland.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Chairman Professor Sir John Arbuthnott said: "By refurbishing and expanding the EDTC, we are now able to make emergency dental healthcare available to a much greater number of people who are not currently registered with a dentist. Staff at the Centre are also able to help patients to get back into mainstream dental care by providing help to register with a local NHS dentist.
"I'm also very proud of the work which will go on here to educate and train Scotland's trainee dentists and, shortly, dental nurses."
It is anticipated that the newly expanded and refurbished EDTC will see around 17,600 patients per year – a significant increase on the 12, 569 patients who were seen in the old treatment centre between April 2005 and March 2006.
EDTC Manager Claire Dodds said: "We currently see around 100 patients a day, and when we're at maximum capacity that can rise to around 130. Since we first began seeing patients in late September, that's more than 3,000 people who have been treated here. Typically, we see people with facial swellings, toothache, broken teeth, and dental pain.
"We also see many dental phobic patients who have avoided seeing a dentist for several years. For them and for other people who aren't registered with a dentist, we can also help by providing information on local NHS dentists in their area."
The EDTC is not a "walk-in" facility and access is by appointment only in daytime, and solely via NHS 24 in the evenings. The Centre is open from 8.30am – 5.15pm Monday to Friday for patients who are not registered at a dentist and need emergency treatment, and between 7.00pm – 10pm for all emergency dental patients, including those who are registered with a dentist.
Patients who are not registered with a dentist and are seeking emergency treatment during the day should call 0141 232 6323. The evening service at the EDTC can be accessed via NHS24 on 08454 24 24 24.