1 in 5 avoid dentists due to cost

Due to the rising costs of dental treatment in Britain, a fifth of the British population are not going to the dentist\. This comes out as fears over the future of the NHS service continue to grow.

The poll by HSA also revealed a quarter of people think looking after their teeth is now unaffordable and 500,000 fewer people are regularly going to the dentist when compared with two years ago.

HSA spokesperson Richard Halley said: ‘This could be down to cost, and also difficulty in accessing an NHS dentist, indeed 27% of those surveyed claim they have struggled to find an NHS dentist.’

Some two-fifths of those polled said they thought NHS dentistry would disappear in the future which would force all people to take up private dental insurance.

From today NHS dental charges for an examination, advice and any necessary x-rays or scale and polish, will go up by 30p to £16.20.

The research by HSA also revealed that Brits cannot rely on employer health schemes to help their teeth, while 65% of firms believe employees would value dental benefits, two-thirds of companies would not consider introducing a dental scheme.

Mr Halley said: ‘By dismissing dental benefits companies could be letting their employees and themselves down. Especially since over a quarter of working people surveyed as part of our consumer survey claimed looking after dental benefits was unaffordable, and 42 per cent thought they could do more to look after their oral health.

‘This could impact recruitment and retention as dental benefits could really attract employees. Additionally, if working people are putting off visiting the dentist due to cost, this could result in their oral health worsening, which could affect sickness absence.’

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