January 21, 2006


Scandal of thousands left to suffer without dental care at weekends (ALISON HARDIE, 1/21/06, The Scotsman)

MORE than a quarter of a million Scots have no local access to emergency dental care at the weekend, a Scotsman investigation has found.

In the Highland and Lanarkshire health board areas, people who have been unable to register with a dentist have nowhere to turn if pain strikes on a Saturday or Sunday. [...]

Consumer groups said the latest problem to afflict Scotland's crisis-hit dental service would further undermine patients' confidence, especially as more and more practices were closing their lists to new patients or axing the NHS service.

The position in the Highlands is especially dire, with health officials forced to admit last year that up to 10 per cent of the area's population would have to wait four years to see a National Health dentist.

Forget emergencies, wouldn't all of us who watch the BBC, PM's Question Time, and British movies help pay to fix the Brits' teeth? Their mouths look like the colonial cemeteries you find around here, with the tombstones helter-skelter, weathered, and crumbling..

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 21, 2006 11:10 AM

Incidentally, nearly all water supplies in Oregon remain unfluoridated. Something about an East Coast plot.

Posted by: ghostcat at January 21, 2006 1:34 PM

When you're away from home, you can pick out fellow Americans just by their smiles.

Posted by: erp at January 21, 2006 1:49 PM

erp: Apparently that's a problem for our undercover agents in the Middle East and elsewhere.

There's a great episode of the Simpsons where the dentist persuades Ralph Wiggum to brush his teeth by showing him The Big Book of British Smiles.

Posted by: PapayaSF at January 21, 2006 3:33 PM


Best laugh of the day. No wonder Val wanted in from the cold.

Must undercover agents blacken their teeth or are they given overlays that look like decayed teeth to camouflage their Pepsodent* smiles?

Wallace and Grommit are also classic examples of British dentistry.

It's unbelievable that Scots are so sissified now that not having emergency "local" dental care on weekends is a crisis. If they can't just gargle with whiskey to dull the pain, the least they can do is lay in an emergency supply of Oragel to tide them over until Monday.

Where did those fierce individualists and to-the-death fighters all go? And is it possible to have an intervention for a whole country?

*an ancient toothpaste ad.

Posted by: erp at January 21, 2006 4:05 PM

"Where did those fierce individualists and to-the-death fighters all go?"


Posted by: Bryan at January 21, 2006 4:11 PM

So right.

Posted by: erp at January 21, 2006 6:39 PM

What was the hero's name? Lemming of the BDA (British Dental Association)?

Posted by: ratbert at January 21, 2006 7:46 PM

i have personally experienced british dentistry and it is genuinely as bad as it is made out to be. in the end, i just stopped going until i returned to the u.s.

Posted by: toe at January 21, 2006 8:40 PM

"people who have been unable to register with a dentist have nowhere to turn if pain strikes on a Saturday or Sunday."

Are the pubs closed too?

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at January 22, 2006 11:38 AM