It used to be a fear of the dentist that kept us away from the dental chair but today it is more than twice as likely to be the cost of dental care that's holding us back, according to research from Tesco Dental Insurance.
Over a third of us have not visited the dentist in more than 18 months and one in ten has not been for more than five years. Just 13% admit to staying away for fear of the drill. However, for one in three, being without dental insurance means it is the high cost of treatment that stops them from visiting the dentist. For a further one in three, it is that they have not registered with a local dentist.
The survey, examining oral hygiene habits, also reveals that a lack of available NHS treatment is causing people to travel further for their dental treatment. So highly valued is NHS treatment that, on average, a UK adult would travel nine miles to secure a place with an NHS dentist.
Jonathan Daniels of Tesco Dental Insurance says, "Far from being a nation of dentophobes, the research suggests we are prepared to go the extra mile, or even ten, in order to receive affordable dental care. Dental health should be a major part of everyone's daily routine and regular check-ups can actually reduce the risk of needing expensive major procedures."