Concerns have been raised over the length of time some patients are having to wait for dental treatment.

Latest figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request show the average wait for outpatient dentistry in surgeries across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) last year was 18 weeks.

That is up from 16 weeks in 2021 and 15 weeks in 2020.

Back in 2019, the average wait was seven weeks – less than half of that recorded last year.

For new inpatient or day case treatments in NHSGGC, figures from last year show one patient had been waiting 112 weeks – almost three times higher than in 2019, when the longest wait was 41 weeks.

The information was obtained by the Scottish Liberal Democrats, who want the Scottish Government to take action such as reforming the funding structure for dentistry in a bid to encourage practices to take on NHS patients.

Party leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “The SNP are abandoning NHS dentistry.

“These figures show that, over the past four years, long waits have soared.

“Ministers are so obsessed with their plots to break up the UK that any pretence of doing the day job has fallen by the wayside.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats are calling for a rewrite of the NHS Recovery Plan so that dentists are properly recognised and fresh resources are provided for our NHS to tackle these long waits.”

However, the Scottish Government has defended its support of NHS dental services.

A spokeswoman said: “No-one will be left in pain when waiting for dental treatment. Hospitals triage patients and see them as quickly as they can, as appropriate to their need.

“Dentistry is an important part of our recovery plan and we’re working with boards to address the backlog created by the pandemic, both in dental practices and hospitals.

“We introduced ambitious targets in July last year for NHS Scotland to address the backlog of planned care, undoubtedly exacerbated by the pandemic.”

“We are working with NHS boards to maximise capacity to meet these targets and recognise the impact long waiting times can have on patients.

“Since the introduction of the targets, the latest statistical data shows progress on tackling the long waits continues.”

A spokesperson for NHSGGC added: “NHSGGC offers a wide range of dental services, both in a primary care setting and acute settings.

“Services are also delivered by General Dental Services through independent contractors who are not managed by the board.

“Like many services across the country, recent years have seen some increases in waiting lists.

“We continue to support our staff as they follow national guidance on efforts to reduce waiting times.”