An MSP is demanding reforms to the dental service after 600 people turned up in one day to register at a new surgery in the north east.
Mr Rumbles wants a new dental school for the north east
Dentist Kenny Jones was looking for 300 NHS patients when his new practice opened at the weekend in Stonehaven.
But Mr Jones had to draw the line at 600, saying there was no way he could take any more.
Liberal Democrat MSP Mike Rumbles said it highlighted the need for a dental
school to be located in the north east.
Mr Rumbles also wants to see other reforms to the
The MSP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine said he had warned Mr Jones that he would be "unindated" with people wanting to register.
He said: "Neither of us realised what
the scenes would be like on Saturday."
The MSP said the queue began before 0900 GMT on Saturday but that by 1030 Mr Jones had to stop the queue
from getting any longer.
The dentist, who previously practised in Aboyne, ended up taking double the amount of patients he had intended.
Mr Rumbles said: "There were people from all over the north-east, not just Stonehaven, and
it's indicative of a situation I have been highlighting since I was elected."
He said the problem stemmed from a decision by the Tory government in the 1990s to close Edinburgh dental school, one of three in Scotland, which reduced the country's annual output of dentists from 160 to 120.
And the lack of a dental school in north east Scotland discouraged newly-qualified dentists from setting up in practice in the area.
"The partnership agreement between the Lib Dems and Labour last May
included new provisions to help ease the current problems, such as an agreement
to establish an outreach dental training centre in Aberdeen, and to consult on
the possibility of establishing a full dental school", Mr Rumbles said.
"Clearly this situation in Stonehaven highlights the need to press with these
measures and I will be raising this matter with Deputy Health Minister Tom McCabe at the earliest opportunity."
Kenny Jones opened a practice in Stonehaven
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Executive said: "We are aware that there are difficulties in
recruiting and retaining dentists who provide services on the NHS, particularly
in rural areas such as Grampian and Highland."
She said a consultation on modernising NHS dental service was due to close in
"In the meantime, we are committed to supporting NHS dental services and have
invested substantially in a series of measures to support these services," she added.
Such measures included developing an "outreach" facility in Aberdeen, for which £100,000 had been earmarked.
And in November, funding worth £3.5m was announced to support NHS
dental services, in addition to a "golden hello" package to help recruit and train dentists.