About this release

This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) provides information on NHS General Dental Service (GDS) treatments up to the quarter ending June 2022.

Fees data reported by PHS excludes top-up payments paid to NHS dental practices in response to the substantial service disruption due to COVID-19 restrictions. As a result, fees data will not reflect the total amount of money paid to practices during this time and is omitted from this year's report.

Main points

Children (under 18)

  • During the quarter ending June 2022, there were 219,245 GDS courses of treatment given to children in Scotland.
  • Over one quarter (27.8%) of claimable dental treatments provided to children were for examination or provision of a care and summary report (detailing the patient's dental health and/or treatment which would not be readily available from visual examination).

Adults (18 and over)

  • During the quarter ending June 2022, the number of GDS courses of treatment given to adults in Scotland was 751,770, an increase of 51.2% compared to the previous quarter. Despite climbing in recent months, activity levels remained around three quarters of pre-pandemic levels.
  • Over a fifth (22.2%) of adult treatments authorised were for triage activity (such as telephone advice and issuing prescriptions).
Image caption Number of Adult GDS courses of treatment by quarter; June 2017 - June 2022


The NHS General Dental Service is usually the first point of contact for NHS dental treatment.

A course of treatment can cover a single appointment or multiple appointments. Treatments which do not incur a payment (tooth brushing or dietary advice) and orthodontic interim payments are excluded when counting courses of treatment.

Triage codes were introduced on 22 June 2020 for use initially in Urgent Dental Care Centres (UDCCs) but were also then used across all NHS primary dental services during remobilisation. The codes include treatments such as: telephone advice, issuing prescriptions, undefined aerosol generating procedures (AGPs - medical procedures that can result in the release of aerosols from the respiratory tract and risk transmission of infection) and non-AGPs.

Further information

The next release of this publication will be October 2023.

General enquiries

If you have an enquiry relating to this publication, please email .

Media enquiries

If you have a media enquiry relating to this publication, please contact the Communications and Engagement team.

Requesting other formats and reporting issues

If you require publications or documents in other formats, please email phs.otherformats@phs.scot.

To report any issues with a publication, please email phs.generalpublications@phs.scot.

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.

Last updated: 20 November 2023
Was this page helpful?