A GROUP of dentists have accused the Scottish Government of putting the oral health of the city's poorest residents at risk as practices begin to reopen.

Healthcare providers have claimed, although many practices are reopening for routine care, a number of simple procedures, such as fillings or scalings, are not able to take place due to the government's restriction on aerosol treatments.

The Chairpersons of Scottish Dental Practice Owners' Group insisted even basic check ups would not be able to be carried out fully as a block on using air to dry teeth means cavities could easily be missed.

But, dentists have slammed the decision to allow private practices to carry out the majority of care, claiming there is no scientific reasoning behind the move.

In a statement the group said: "The dental profession has been put into a state of disarray by the Scottish Government and their lack of action in allowing NHS dental practices to open and treat their patients has left millions of patients without access to their own dentist."

It adds: "We sincerely hope that the Scottish Government stand up and take a serious look at the delicate position they have placed millions of NHS dental patients [in] and restrictions they have placed on the practices.

"If something is not done soon then there will [be] drop in the oral health in Scotland."

An East Kilbride dentist Alina Sheikh told how when a 19-year-old NHS patient presented with pain in his mouth, the only option available to her under the current guidelines was to remove the tooth.

However, had she run a private practice, she'd have been allowed to save the young man's tooth.

And, dentists say practices will fall into chaos, when patients who have had "unclear" messages from the government begin making treatment requests.

Ms Sheikh said: "The non-aerosol routine care basically covers a check up or cancer screening, but we can't do much with it on the NHS because we can't offer simply treatment, like a filling.

"If it continues, the level of decay, especially in kids, is going to go back to what it was before Childsmile and that's a big problem for the future."

A Scottish Government spokeswoman insisted NHS dentists will be updated on when aerosol generating procedures can be reintroduced soon, while the Childsmile Programme is "making preparations" to start later in the summer.

She said: "NHS patients are able to receive care and treatment for aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) through one of the 71 urgent dental care centres in Scotland.

"The health and safety of all patients and staff attending dental practices remains our primary consideration and in taking a phased approach we are seeking to balance the overall risk of infection with the needs of patients to be seen by dentists.

"Our overarching aim is to save lives."