The survey revealed a list of factors which contribute to people overlooking regular dental check–ups, with the most common being concerns about costs.
With 50 percent of the vote, money troubles beat off dental phobias and not having an NHS dentist, as the most likely factor to stop people visiting the dentist.
The survey, which questioned more than 1,000 people, was conducted by the British Dental Health Foundation as part of National Smile Month (May 16 – June 16).
Chief Executive of the Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter said: “This really highlights how the recession has impacted people over the last few years. Members of the public have had to sacrifice good oral health–care to get by financially, and that is not right. People need to have access to a dentist.”
The survey also revealed that 11 percent of the public do not have regular check–ups because they do not have an NHS dentist.
Dr Carter said: “I can understand if people are struggling to find a dentist in their local area, but many people do not realise that their local Primary Care Trust has an obligation to find them an NHS dentist. This highlights a particular attitude towards oral health in today’s society – people are unaware of its importance. A lot of people do not know that oral health has connections with strokes, heart disease, diabetes, premature births and many other serious health problems. It really is vital that people visit their dentist regularly, as they are trained to pick up on any problems and at examination will also be looking for potentially much more serious conditions like Mouth Cancer.”
Struggling to find a local dentist was another factor which contributed to a lack of regular dental check–ups among those who were surveyed.
In both Edinburgh and Nottingham almost one in every five people said they were most likely to neglect check–ups as they could not find a dentist locally. London, Cambridge and Liverpool also showed high results, with around one in seven people surveyed saying they were unable to find a dentist.
For further information please contact the Foundation’s Press Office on [email protected] or 01788 539799.
The British Dental Health Foundation is the UK’s leading oral health charity, with a 30–year track record of providing public information and influencing government policy. It maintains a free consumer advice service, an impartial and objective product accreditation scheme, publishes and distributes a wide range of literature for the profession and consumers, and runs National Smile Month each May, to promote greater awareness of the benefits of better oral health.
The Dental Helpline, which offers free impartial advice to consumers, can be contacted on 0845 063 1188 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Alternatively, they can be contacted by email on [email protected]
A series of free ‘Tell Me About…’ leaflets covering topics such as caring for my teeth, finding a dentist and diet are also available.
The Foundation’s website can be found at www.dentalhealth.org