THE owner of a Dumbarton dental practice has found himself “perplexed” by the Scottish Government’s announcement to fully reopen dentists’ surgeries across Scotland.

Ghyll McCallum, of Levengrove Dental Care, has backed calls from British Dental Association Scotland (BDA) and Scottish Dental Practice Owners (SDPO) for a full explanation from the Scottish Government after the health bodies found out about the plans for new guidelines via the news media.

He has also raised concerns regarding around how social distancing and restricted staffing will work if dentistries across Scotland return to normal.

Mr McCallum said: “The profession is bemused that the government are asking for a full return when infection rates are higher than earlier in the year when the Scottish Government was telling us not to work.

“There has also been no consultation with relevant dental bodies to discuss this recent announcement. Nor have we been advised how it is planned to be financed in the short or long term.

“I feel perplexed by the irrationality and not very hopeful that we can deliver what Joe Fitzpatrick has announced to the public without giving consideration to the detail or consultation with the profession.

“Our priority is to look after the patients in need of emergency and urgent care. If we resume full service and combine it with restricted staffing, then something has to give.”

The BDA also blasted the Scottish Government after they found out about the news from their own patients instead of the government as “disrespectful”.

David McColl, chair of the Scottish Dental Practice Committee, said: “The BDA’s Scottish dental practice committee (SDPC) is disappointed that many dentists learned of yesterday’s announcement that they can soon provide a full range of NHS dental treatments from media sources or from patients who had seen the announcement online.

“Dentists and their teams are already under considerable pressure, and have received numerous calls from patients about the expanded range of treatments following yesterday’s announcement.”

“We will comment further when we receive this information but our position is that if dentists are to go back to a full service then they must be funded at 100 per cent of pre-Covid levels, in a similar vein to General Medical Practitioners.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The remobilisation date of November 1 was to ensure dentists and dental teams had adequate notice of the restart to ensure they were able to provide a full range of care and treatment to NHS patients. and we will provide detailed guidance to enable the resumption in the near future. This announcement is the culmination of that journey and We have been very clear with dentists in describing the route map.

“We have written to them at every stage in this journey also signalling the conditions for next phase in the remobilisation.”

“We continue to support NHS dental services with an unprecedented package of financial support measures. This is sustained support and provides a top-up for dental incomes to 80 per cent of pre-COVID levels, as well as additional funding support for dental practices. As part of the next phase of remobilisation the intention is to raise the top-up, further confirmation of this Government’s commitment to NHS dental services.”