Millions of UK adults risking dental health because of treatment cost worries

Almost half of the UK population has avoided visiting the dentist in the last 12 months for fear of how much treatment might cost, a survey has revealed.

Forty-three per cent of the 1,000 UK adults surveyed admitted they have skipped routine or necessary dental visits in the last 12 months because they are worried about how much it might cost them.

Worries about money (20%), increased living costs, including food and utility bills (18%) and reduction in income due to job loss or cuts in benefits (13%) are the top reasons for putting off treatment.

Seven per cent of those surveyed said they’d neglected visiting the dentist because they are not currently registered with one or are on an NHS waiting list.

People living in Leicester are the biggest dentist-dodgers (38%) followed by Chelmsford (37%), Oxford (36%), Worcester and Aberystwyth (33%). Norwich was the most conscientious city when it came to keeping up with oral health with only 10% avoiding the dentist’s chair closely followed by York (12%).

Women are the biggest offenders when it comes to missing treatment overall with 27% confessing they have avoided the dentist over the last 12 months, compared to 23% for men.

Young people are the most concerned about how much treatment might cost them with 32% of those aged 18-24 saying they have avoided the dentist. While people over the age of 55 are the least likely to put off dental treatment (17%).

The survey by healthcare cash plan provider Sovereign Health Care was conducted by Onepoll in May 2014.


Top 10 cities

Top 10 cities where people have avoided the dentist in the last 12 months due to worries about cost of treatment:

  1. Leicester – 38%
  2. Chelmsford – 37%
  3. Oxford – 36%
  4. Worcester – 33%
  5. Aberystwyth – 33%
  6. Leeds – 31%
  7. Birmingham – 30%
  8. Wolverhampton – 29%
  9. London – 28%
  10. 10. Southampton – 28%

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