Fewer adults in the north-east have registered with an NHS dentist in comparison to every other part of Scotland.
Official figures published yesterday showed that only 69% of people over 18 signed up in comparison to 87% across Scotland as of March 31.
A total of 322,891 adults and 96,491 children have registered with NHS Grampian dentists.
The figures showed that 73% of adults – 188,869 people and 87% of children – 54,151 people – are registered with a NHS Highland dentist.
Across Scotland the statistics showed that 88% of the population – 4.7million people – are now registered with a dentist.
A total of 93% of children have signed up and 87% of adults.
Public Health Minister Maureen Watt, a north-east MSP, described the national picture as “fantastic news”.
A spokeswoman for NHS Grampian said seven out of ten people were registered with a state-funded dentist and uptake has been consistently on the rise since 2007.
“This is a significant achievement given the historical challenges we faced and given the higher than average number of residents who are treated privately,” she added.
“Although the waiting lists are now cleared, many patients have chosen to remain private as they have developed good relationships with their dentists, which is very important.”
The spokeswoman said the health board’s focus was on reaching people who were not currently accessing dental care.
“Our registrations for children have steadily increased year on year and programmes such as Childsmile ensure good oral health habits are developed at an early age,” she added.
“Our adult registrations are also continuing to increase.
“In addition to recruitment campaigns with NHS practices, we are actively promoting the benefits of registration with a dentist to all unregistered patients who attend our emergency dental services.”
Ms Watt said the number of people registered with a dentist in Grampian had increased from 35.2% in March 2007 to 72.4% this year.
“No one who needs an NHS dentist in Grampian should be without one,” she added.
Meanwhile, new figures showed that NHS Grampian and NHS Highland managed to hit a target of treating 95% of accident and emergency patients within four hours.
A total of 100 people at north-east hospitals and 38 in the Highlands had to wait longer for treatment during the week ending June 7.
But the target was missed at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary where 92% of patients were seen within the timescale.