‘Don’t fuel dental anxiety’ says BDA

dental anxiety
BDA reacts to dental anxiety stories in the press recently

The British Dental Association (BDA) has commented on recent dental anxiety news stories affecting the dental profession.

Recently a string of stories about dentists and the dental profession have appeared in the media, including the story of Cecil the lion and a posting on the Daily Mail website entitled ‘Why we all fear dentists are natural born killers‘, and the BDA has moved to comment saying ‘don’t fuel dental anxiety’.

‘Good health and effective treatment rests on trust between practitioner and patient,’ Mick Armstrong, chair of the BDA, said.

‘It is therefore deeply unfortunate that so many stories in recent days have sought to undermine that relationship for the sake of a cheap headline.

‘Quite simply dental anxiety leads patients to avoid treatment.

‘And that comes at a cost, to their health and to the health service, when patients with preventable conditions end up in hospital.

‘Dentists want to help those patients who are nervous about receiving treatment.

‘Dusting off vintage “Marathon Man” clichés for another by-numbers dig at the profession will not aid them in that task.

‘Modern dentistry bares no relation to these antiquated stereotypes.

‘Practitioners are focusing on prevention, not intervention, and they do not want to see anxious patients given yet another reason to miss out on needed treatment.’

Dental anxiety facts

  • One in every seven adults who has ever been to a dentist suffers from extreme dental anxiety
  • The most common fears for visiting a dentist are having a tooth drilled (30%) and having a local anaesthetic injection (28%)
  • Visiting the dentist is ranked number one (22%) for making people nervous, closely followed by heights (19%)
  • Nearly 10 times as many people (22%) are nervous of visiting their dentists, compared to their doctor (2%).

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