New survey suggests a fear of pain is keeping a quarter of British workers away from the dentist

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A new survey has revealed that a quarter of British employees are avoiding going to the dentist due to a fear of pain. 

One in four people polled by Unum Dental admitted to putting off going to the dentist because they were afraid of pain. The survey involved 2,000 adults working in the private sector. 

The proportion of men who avoided going to the dentist because of anxiety related to pain and discomfort was higher than women. Twenty-seven percent of men admitted steering clear of the dentist, compared to 22% of female employees. 

Although fear of pain was a common excuse for failing to keep up with routine checks, the most common reason for avoiding the dentist was cost. More than 35% of employees surveyed by Unum Dental said that they were afraid to go to the dentist because they didn’t want a hefty bill at the end. 

Just less than a third of employees said they would pay for dental insurance if their employer offered a discounted scheme, while 80% said they would be more likely to go to the dentist on a regular basis if dental cover was available as part of their employment package. 

Managing director at Unum Dental, Andrew Bower, said that it is common knowledge that going to the dentist is an anxiety-inducing experience, and therefore, it’s surprising to see that the most common barrier is cost. 

Dental anxiety is prevalent, but times have changed, and dentists are proficient in the treatment of nervous patients, providing services and techniques that are designed to minimise pain and shorten treatment times. Patients who are anxious are encouraged to speak to their dentist and let them know about their concerns.

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