More than 28 million people in the UK chose their current dentist through word of mouth, according to new research.
In a poll conducted by Bray Leino, approaching half of people questioned (44.7%) used friends and family recommendations for choosing their current dentist, while only 7.5% of people used the internet.
Almost two thirds (63.7%) would rely on recommendations from friends and family to choose a new dentist.
The trust people have in their dentist was also highlighted as the survey found that two in every three people (66.3 per cent) would prefer to see the same dentist every time they visit.
To coincide with World Oral Health Day on 20 March, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, suggests the research points to a stepping stone for the public to improve their oral health.
Dr Carter said: ‘World Oral Health Day is a really good opportunity to find a dentist. Personal recommendations are a huge part of everyday society, from the restaurants we visit to the films we watch. The research shows this is the same for the dentists we use, which is very reassuring.
‘If trust underpins the reason behind our choice of dentist, it becomes easier for the dentist to openly discuss the full range of treatments with patients.’
Tony Reed, executive director of the British Dental Trade Association (BDTA) said: ‘New technologies have transformed the whole experience of visiting the dentist. There are now a wide range of largely non-invasive treatments including laser treatments, to target decay and disease, and digital scanning technology which allows dentists to make replacement teeth and crowns without taking silicon impressions.
‘Dental treatments have advanced significantly helping to make a visit to the dentist a much more relaxed experience and encouraging more patients to take care of their oral health which, in turn, benefits their overall health. World Oral Health Day acts as a reminder of the importance of oral health and regular dental check-ups.’