Oral health improvement plan: a short guide

This short overview sets out the Scottish Government’s Oral Health Improvement Plan (OHIP).

Short Guide to the Oral Health Improvement Plan


Looking after your oral health is important. The best way to do this is to make sure disease doesn’t happen in the first place. The Scottish Government has put together an Oral Health Improvement Plan ( OHIP) to help you and your dental team look after your oral health. This quick guide gives you a summary of the aims of the Plan and how your dental care might change in the future.

You can read the full plan at http://www.gov.scot/isbn/9781788514125



We want to make sure that children have the best chance to grow up with good oral health. We will help them to achieve this by promoting good habits. Adults will start to get an Oral Health Risk Assessment ( OHRA) every five years. Your dentist will give you a full clinical exam and talk to you about how habits, like drinking, smoking, and diet, can affect your oral health. You will also be given a personalised care plan to help you avoid dental disease. You’ll still have check-ups in between OHRAs but if your oral health is good you might not need to go to the dentist every six months.

Reducing Oral Health Inequalities

We want to make sure that everyone, no matter where they live, can have the best oral health they possibly can. Although there is a lot the dental team can help with, we also know that a lot of good work goes on within local communities to help people lead healthy lives. We will give voluntary groups funding to work with people in local communities who would most benefit from support to improve their oral health.

Meeting the Needs of an Ageing Population

Around 1 in 5 people aged over 75 don’t have a regular dentist. It’s important that older people living in care homes and those who can’t travel from their home still have access to dental care. We’re going to start a new system to make it easier for dental teams to treat older people who live in a care home or are cared for in their own home.

More Services on the High Street

People are often sent to a hospital for dental treatment. Some of this treatment can be done safely in a local dental practice. We will increase the treatments that could be done this way to make it quicker and easier to get treatment.

Improving Information for Patients

Dental patients have told us they want to know more about the cost of their dental treatment and what treatments are available on the NHS. We will ensure you get better information.


Everyone has the right to good quality dental care and treatment. We will improve the monitoring of the quality of your dental treatment.


Dental team members have a wide range of skills. We will ensure you are seen by the right person in the right place.

Taking Forward these Changes

We will be taking forward these actions in stages over the next few years.

We are working with the Scottish Health Council to develop a forum on oral health which will help us speak to the public and keep them up to date with the progress we make.

If you would like more information please contact oralhealthplan@gov.scot


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