Almost six in ten (59%) Brits say they see the same dentist more consistently than they see the same GP, according to new data.
Released by Denplan, the survey also shows that a quarter of respondents (25%) that visit the dentist stay with the same dentist for more than 10 years and nearly one in ten (7%) for their entire life.
More than half (51%) of people say their entire family all sees the same dentist. Six in ten (60%) say they would not consider changing dental practices because they want to keep their current dentist.
Other findings include:
- Two thirds (66%) of people reported that consistency meant they felt comfortable with their dentist
- Nine in 10 (91%) of people who attend the dentist at least every two years said it is important to trust your dentist
- Three in ten (28%) have spoken to their dentist about other health problems
- Around 15% of respondents have had dentists refer them to another health practitioner during their appointment
- Of those that were referred, 20% were diagnosed with skin condition, 15% with iron-deficiency (anaemia), 10% with diabetes and a further 10% with a viral condition (eg herpes).
Going beyond dentistry
Dentist Shamir Chandarana, principal dentist at Dental House, Sunbury-on-Thames, said: ‘As a dentist, you’re privileged to have the chance to truly get to know patients and their families.
‘Many of us have supported patients far beyond just their dental needs – whether being able to advise on common health conditions, simply listen to their current concerns, or refer them to another healthcare professional.
‘At a time when GP appointments are increasingly difficult to come by, my colleagues and I have definitely noticed an uptick in wider healthcare questions – a role that would have traditionally been played by the family doctor.
‘We can help to identify other health conditions, but then need to refer patients on for any symptoms to be managed properly.’
Denplan’s annual Oral Healthcare Report looks into attitudes and habits in UK dentistry. It surveyed more than 5,000 consumers in the UK who used both NHS and private dentists.
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