One in four Brits now considers dental care a ‘luxury’, it has emerged.
Baz Franks with his teeth ‘tattoo’ of William and Kate
A study carried out among 10,000 adults found one quarter now rank a visit to the dentist as a luxury rather than a necessity.
Escalating treatment costs have also led to four out of ten people claiming they simply cannot afford to have their teeth checked regularly.
It also emerged that one in four have dodged the dentist’s chair for 18 months while one in nine hasn’t been for more than five years.
The report also found one in two parents admit they have taken their child to the dentist too late, with more than one in ten kids needing a filling before they were five.
James Glover, of healthcare provider Simplyhealth, said yesterday (fri): ”Individuals and families are now able to see a dentist much more easily, which is great.
”However, it’s worrying that cost is forcing so many people to delay seeing their dentists, especially as NHS dental charges increased at the beginning of April.
”That’s the reason we offer dental plans as so many people wanted help in managing the costs of routine visits to the dentist.
”Hopefully this will help encourage individuals to visit their dentist on a regular basis, without having to worry about the cost.”
The study also found it is now easier to get an NHS dentist many feel that it doesn’t cover as much as it should.
And the general feeling was also that patients do not receive the same level of treatment as they once did.
The survey also uncovered a lack of understanding about what a dentist is capable of with three quarters not realising their dentist can spot symptoms of oral cancer.
In addition one in five parents said they didn’t feel they were being asked to take their children to see their dentist as regularly as they should.
As a result, 31 per cent of kids have had to make at least one emergency visit to the dentist in the past five years, it emerged.
The report also found one in ten adults are so embarrassed by the state of their teeth they avoid the dentist at all costs.
One in five said they were scared of their dentist.
Simplyhealth’s Dental Advisor Michael Thomas said: ”The perceived drop in the quality of treatment that patients receive is really unfortunate as the NHS is doing such a good job of increasing the number of people its dentists see.
”However, we are advised that the issue is not being ignored and is included within the Government’s on-going reform plans.
”It’s important that more is done to educate people about the consequences of poor oral health, as research suggests that poor oral health is associated with a greater risk of a stroke and heart disease.
”Dentists can provide a wealth of information and support for all the family, but patients need to know how to get the most from their appointments.”