About the National Dental Inspection Programme (NDIP)

Basic NDIP Inspection

The Basic Inspection involves a simple assessment of the mouth of each child using a light, mirror and ball-ended probe.

Each child is placed into one of three categories depending on the level of dental health and a letter sent to their parents.

  • Letter A (High Risk) – on account of severe decay or abscess, should arrange to see the dentist as soon as possible; or
  • Letter B (Medium Risk) – on account of evidence of current or previous decay, should arrange to see the dentist in the near future; or
  • Letter C (Low Risk) – no obvious decay experience but should continue to see the family dentist on a regular basis

The results of the Basic Inspection are anonymised and aggregated. They are then used to monitor the impact of local and national oral health improvement programmes, and to assist in the development of dental services.

Detailed NDIP Inspection

The Detailed Inspection is a more rigorous and comprehensive assessment that involves recording the status of each surface of each tooth in accordance with international epidemiological conventions.

The NDIP Programmes is undertaken by Health Boards, each having a local co-ordinator with the whole programme being overseen by the Scottish Dental Epidemiological Co-ordinating Committee (SDECC).

The 2003 inspection was the first and pilot year of the new NDIP Programme and concerned only Primary 1 children.