New survey suggests more than 80% of adults visit the dentist frequently

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A new survey has suggested that more than 80% of UK adults visit the dentist on a regular basis.

New research published by Simplyhealth Professionals showed that 82% of adults go to the dentist at least once every 24 months. The rate of attendance is even higher among those who have dental payment plans. Almost 90% of patients who have dental plans see their dentist at least once every 2 years, according to the Consumer Oral Health Survey 2019. While the figures are promising, it is concerning that 6% of adults surveyed admitted that they never go to the dentist. Regular dental checks, which are recommended at least once a year, and more frequently for those at risk of dental health problems, can help to reduce the risk of gum disease and decay significantly.

Dr Catherine Rutland, dental spokesperson for Simplyhealth, said that the survey produced positive results, but there is room for improvement. Some adults still aren’t seeing a dentist at all, and some patients aren’t attending appointments as often as they should. As well as looking out for signs of cavities, tooth wear, infection and gum disease, dentists also provide potentially life-saving oral cancer checks. Dentists can also detect changes in the mouth or oral health issues that could be linked to wider medical problems, including type 2 diabetes, for example.

A fear of the dentist was the most common reason given for not attending regular dental appointments, while around a third of patients said they couldn’t afford to see a dentist regularly. More than 30% of participants admitted that they only go to their local practice when they need treatment, while just over 10 percent of patients said that they didn’t think they needed to go to the dentist.

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