Costs of dentistry putting patients off

No one likes going to the dentist but the cost of NHS dentistry is giving people another reason to avoid the reclining chair

One in five patients are put off dental treatment because of the growing costs, with 25 per cent admitting that the price of having their teeth fixed affects what treatment they choose.

Conducted once every ten years, the survey by the Office of National Statistics, also found a significant rise in people suffering from anxiety, induced by treatments such as drilling and injections.  On the whole, however, oral health has improved.

‘The overall improvement in oral health is positive, but the survey makes clear there is no room for complacency,’ says Susie Sanderson, chairman of the British Dental Association’s Executive Board.

‘The research highlights the effect of the recession as a deterrent for some patients seeking dental care,’ she continues. Sanderson urges people not to defer appointments and treatmentsto achieve short-term money savings.

The survey of 13,000 households found 84 per cent of adults had at least one filling, 37 per cent had artificial crowns and almost one in five wore some kind of denture. While an encouraging 75 per cent brush their teeth twice a day, 1 per cent admitted to never using a toothbrush.

Although NHS dental care is subsidized, and children, pregnant women and those on low income are exempt from paying, most patients still have to contribute towards their care. Costs range from £16.50 for a basic check-up, to £198 for more complex procedures.

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