More than four in ten people in the UK have put off a visit to the dentist because they could not afford it, according to a new survey.
Healthcare provider Simplyhealth found that 43 per cent of Brits have delayed seeking dental treatment because they were worried about the cost.
Of these, some 35 per cent went on to develop complications. For example, 26 per cent suffered long-term tooth decay, while 19 per cent lost a tooth.
The survey also revealed that 39 per cent of people have paid for dental bills totalling more than £50 on their credit cards and two per cent have taken out a loan.
James Glover, a spokesperson for Simplyhealth, said the survey highlights the benefits of health cash plans and dental plans, which allow patients to spread out the cost of treatment.
"It's extremely worrying that people are going to these lengths to pay for their dental treatment and that others are delaying to the point of pain and long-term damage," he remarked.
The publication of the survey comes after a study by researchers at Weston Park Hospital in Sheffield found that acupuncture could help to cure people's fear of the dentist.