One in four adults in south Wales aren’t registered with a dentist according to a new survey.
The survey, carried out by Plutus Health, received 1,000 respondents and was designed to understand the evolving health and wellbeing needs of people in Wales
‘Maintaining good oral hygiene is a crucial part of our overall health and wellbeing,’ Andy Wilkins, CEO of Plutus, said.
‘Not looking after our teeth and gums can result in gum disease, which is proven to increase risk of other health complications, including strokes, diabetes and heart disease.’
A quarter of respondents found visiting the dentist too expensive and one in five said they can’t afford the dentist.
Dental costs in Wales were frozen from 2006 to 2012 after the decision was taken by the Welsh Government not to increase costs year on year, this was to ensure access to NHS dentistry for the people of Wales and allow charges to remain affordable, while tackling oral health inequalities in the country.
‘Incurring large dentist bills can be a worrying prospect for many people in south Wales, something our survey has identified,’ Andy continued.
‘However, regular trips to the dentist should be a fundamential element of our healthcare routines to avoid painful gum disease or other complications, and should not be avoided due to financial concerns.
‘There are effective ways to manage the financial responsibilities that come with maintaining good oral health.’
A third of people in Wales will only go to the dentist if they feel they need work doing.
In spite of this, one in five respondents admitted they felt guilty for not going to the dentist more often.
Encouragingly nearly half of people in South Wales had in fact been to the dentist in the last six months, with only 7% of the total respondents having failed to visit a dentist for three to five years.
‘While it is concerning that one in four people in south Wales are not registered at a dentist, it is encouraging to see the majority of the people who are have been to the dentist within the last six months,’ Andy concluded.