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Patient money fears hit dental care


Monday February 21st 2011

People are being warned not to make short-term savings at the expense of their long-term dental health after a survey revealed the majority of patients are holding off on getting treatment in a bid to save money.

According to a survey for the British Dental Association (BDA), some 68% of dentists revealed that their clients are putting off treatment, with almost six out of 10 reporting cancelled appointments.

The data highlights that while patients may be missing check-ups due to worries over money, the move could lead to an increase in the number of people requiring emergency procedures.

Of the 251 dentists questioned in England last October and November, more than a third revealed they had experienced a rise in demand for emergency treatment over the previous 12 months.

Susie Sanderson, chairman of the BDA's executive board, said: "It's understandable that, at a time when there is widespread concern about household finances, some patients' financial anxieties are leading them to defer dental appointments and treatment.

"Achieving short-term money savings at the expense of longer-term health problems really isn't wise though.

"Neglecting your oral health can increase both the complexity of the problems you face and the cost of the treatment you must eventually have.

"As well, visiting the dentist at appropriate intervals will ensure that you get the help you need to maintain good oral health."

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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