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Dentistry News From Medical News Today

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Brits Put Dental Health On Hold Due To Rising Costs

Article first published as Brits Put Dental Health On Hold Due To Rising Costs on Technorati.

It is alarming to note that 40% of people in the UK regularly skip routine visits to the dentist as a consequence of rising costs. A research was conducted in this regard by the private medical insurance provider, Simplyhealth. Apparently, about one in four Brits consider the dental care a “luxury” rather than a necessity. The study also revealed that people not only avoid the dentist due to the fact that it is expensive, but that they are also ignorant about what exactly a dentist can do for them and therefore do not take their children for dental check-ups often enough.

dental careThe research study came up with some shocking and disturbing statistics that definitely calls for some immediate attention and review of the dental health reforms by the British health services department.
The study was carried out among 10,000 adults and the findings of the survey were as follows: -
  • One in four have dodged the dentist’s chair for 18 months
  • One in nine hasn’t been to a dentist for more than nine years
  • The rise in treatment costs led to four out of ten people claiming that they simply cannot afford regular dental check-ups.
  • One in two parents admitted to taking their children too late to the dentist, with more than one in ten children requiring a dental filling before the age of five.
  • About one-third of the children have had to make an emergency visit to the dentist in the past five years.
  • The poll also found that men were least likely to visit their dentist with over a third giving the excuse that dental treatment was “not essential”.
  • Surprisingly, 19% of those surveyed said that they were capable of managing their own dental health without any intervention from their dentist.
James Glover from Simplyhealth said: “It’s surprising that so many people see visiting the dentist as a luxury. “We’re not talking about a holiday, or a new car, but protecting your dental health, which is an everyday health need.” 

Simplyhealth’s dental advisor, Michael Thomas, said: “It’s really important that individuals take the time to brush their teeth twice a day and regularly visit their dentist. This isn’t just important for the health of their teeth, but also for other health issues. For example, research suggests that poor oral health is associated with a greater risk of a stroke and heart disease.” 

Going for private dental treatment can be a very expensive affair and therefore the cheapest option is to go to the NHS, if you are able to get it. The NHS offers free dental treatment to pregnant women, new mothers, children up to 18 and some living on benefits. But, unfortunately the NHS increased the dental charges from the 1st of April 2011, and there is a general feeling among the people who visit the NHS for dental treatment, that they do not receive the same level of treatment as they once did.

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.” 

Image Courtsey: Wikimedia Commons

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