Life - Articles - Almost 10m have performed a dental procedure on themselves


12% have been removed from their NHS list in the last year. One in ten (10%) say they cannot get registered at an NHS dentist and this puts them off going.

 A fifth (18%) of UK adults - equivalent to 9.4 million people - have performed a dental procedure on themselves, new research from Canada Life reveals. This comes as 6.5 million (12%) people admit to not having seen a dentist for more than five years, despite NHS guidance recommending individuals visit one every two years.

 Nearly half (48%) of UK adults say they have been put off going to the dentist. When asked why, 13% say they can’t afford it, and 12% are afraid or have a phobia of the dentist. One in ten (10%) cannot get registered at an NHS dentist, and 8% haven’t seen a dentist in a long time and are worried their teeth will need a lot of work. For 7%, a lack of appointments at times which suit them put them off and a further 7% say their dentist has gone private and they either can’t afford, or don’t want to pay for private dentistry.

 Despite oral hygiene playing a key role in our overall health and wellbeing, 18% of UK adults are not currently registered at a dentist - and with long NHS waiting lists, a further 12% have been removed from their NHS list in the last year.

 Jo Turner, Head of Product and Proposition, Group Protection, Canada Life commented: “It is really concerning to see such a significant proportion of people not being able to access a dentist. Unfortunately, it is now well known that dentistry on the NHS is becoming less available and consequently, some people find themselves being removed from patient lists and therefore seeking more expensive private treatment. It’s very worrying that some feel there is no alternative than to perform DIY dentistry.”

 More than a fifth (22%) of respondents receive dental insurance or benefits through their employer, and of those 73% have used it. Of those who do have access to dental benefits, over two fifths (42%) said it increased their likelihood of seeing a dentist.

 Canada Life’s Jo Turner continues: “With health services being squeezed, employers can play a role in recognising dental benefits as a core pillar of their employee benefit programmes. At Canada Life we offer ToothFairy for example, a smart dental app which enables employees access to virtual assessments, prescriptions and the ability to connect directly to a dentist from the comfort of their home. Research indicates that health and dental insurance are considered to be highly desirable company benefits. Benefits such as ToothFairy not only helps with retention, but also may help to alleviate pressure from our NHS.”
  

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