Nearly a third of Britons have not gone to the dentist during the past two years because they claim they cannot afford to, a survey shows.
Around 30% of people aged between 16 and 64 have not had a regular check-up for at least two years.
This is despite one in seven people admitting their teeth are in poor or extremely poor condition, according to Dentale, a Shropshire dental firm specialising in implants.
At the same time, a fifth say they have not had dental work that was recommended carried out because of the cost involved.
The research found that an estimated 1.29 million people have also had dental treatment done outside the UK because it was cheaper.
The survey questioned 1,008 people aged 16-64 earlier this month.
Jason Buglass, of Dentale, said: ‘Our findings are absolutely shocking.
‘We are one of the richest countries in the world but we are known for having bad teeth.
‘Our research suggests that one of the main reasons for this is that people cannot afford to go to a dentist.’
Stem the flow
The team at Dentale, which is based in Shrewsbury, is hoping that their new facility for training dentists using volunteer patients will stem the flow of patients going abroad for cheaper dental treatment.
At the facility, dentists experience hands-on training in the provision of implants on real patients.
This also reduces the costs to patients enough to make it cheaper than going to Eastern Europe.
On their website, the company explains: ‘At Dentale we are training qualified dentists in the provision of dental implants; this is a continuous ongoing process, taking dentists from their first implant all the way up to the most complex procedures.
‘All this training is supervised closely by our extremely experienced team, which gives the patient all the benefit of the experience and the dentist the benefit of a safe and controlled environment.
‘Dentists are prepared to pay to have this quality of training and this in turn enables us to offset the cost for the patient.’
• Further details at www.dentale.co.uk.