Scottish Health Survey 2017: summary report

Key findings from the Scottish Health Survey 2017 report.

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Chapter 3: Dental Health and Services

Proportion of adults with at least some natural teeth decreases by age


  • Men were more likely than women to have at least some natural teeth (94% compared with 90%). This difference was evident only among those aged 65 and over.

The proportion of adults with 20 or more natural teeth has increased (by 5-7 percentage points) in each deprivation quintile between 2008 and 2017

People living in least deprived areas are more likely to have 20+ natural teeth, than those living in the most deprived



Women were much more likely than men to do so



36% of adults reported feeling nervous about their dentist visit. This was higher for women (43%) than men (30%)

  • Over 3/4 of adults (78%) did not experience difficulties when visiting the dentist.
  • The most common difficulties were finding an appointment that suited (7%), dental treatment being too expensive (6%) and getting time off work (5%).

Younger age groups were more likely to experience toothache and gum bleeding than older groups


  • However, having difficulty chewing either often or occasionally was most common among those aged 55-74 (13% among those aged 55-64 and 14% among those aged 65-74) and least common among the youngest age group (7% among those aged 16-24).


Julie Landsberg

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