A healthier future for all
Leah Turner considers the impact free NHS treatment to young people could have in Scotland.
Dominating the national media headlines of late has been the now free delivery of NHS dental to all young people aged between 18 and 25 in Scotland. This means that 600,000 individuals will now benefit from free dentistry, encouraging attendance by young adults and laying the groundwork for a healthier future population. But this isn’t the only impact it will have. The newly expanded access to care will also affect dental practices from a business perspective, offering new opportunities to grow their patient base and secure a stable future for themselves.
Attracting new patients
The most important consequence of free dental care for young people will always be the improvement in oral health of the nation. Removing potential barriers to care for young patients and motivating them to establish good habits with frequent dental visits and support from early adulthood is a good way of protecting their health and wellbeing as they age. As young people tend to be more money-conscious – especially as they take steps towards financial independence – eliminating cost concerns can be hugely advantageous for getting them in the dental chair. They will be more likely to attend regular check-ups, maintain their oral hygiene and better appreciate the importance of their dental and general health.