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Digital Subscriptions > Orthodontic Practice > July August 2019 > Patients cancelling appointments due to fear of dentist

Patients cancelling appointments due to fear of dentist

More than a quarter (26%) of Brits have cancelled or delayed a dental appointment due to fear of the dentist.

Research from Hudgell Solicitors shows that 80% of Brits admit to being scared of the dentist. And more than a third haven’t been to the dentist in the last two years.

‘While it’s very understandable to see so many people in the UK are scared of a trip to the dentist,’ Vince Shore, joint head of medical negligence at Hudgell Solicitors, said. ‘It’s very worrying to see how many people are putting of appointments to get their teeth examined. As well as looking at your teeth, dentists also check for signs of oral cancer. Sheield is the worst city in Britain for dental attendance, with 42% British adults don’t have time to brush their teeth twice a day, a survey from the Oral Health Foundation shows. One in five (22%) regularly miss brushing their teeth in the morning because they are running late and one in four (25%) skip brushing their teeth at night because they get home too late. Running out of toothpaste (12%), watching television (7%) and preoccupied by a mobile (7%) were the other top excuses. The poll also shows men are less likely to brush their teeth than women. Men are more than twice as likely to blame partners for distracting them, and more likely to blame work commitments. Excessive computer use could be putting teenager’s oral health at risk, a new study shows. Teenagers who spend three hours or more on computers are more likely to neglect their oral health. ‘There is growing evidence to suggest that computer use is linked with a number of health problems for teenagers,’ Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation, said. ‘Much of the attention in the past has focused on relationships with obesity, smoking, drinking and changes in behaviour. However, we are now seeing signs that it could affect a person’s oral health as well. While the internet and computer games can often prove a necessary and important distraction, it is important that children prioritise their health.’ Twice-daily brushing dropped below 50% amongst boys with excessive computer use, the study found. Bleeding gums is 25% more likely in teenagers spending more than three hours on their computer. ‘There is an urgent need for more education; both on the consequences of excessive computer use, and the benefits of maintaining good oral hygiene,’ said Dr Carter. not attending in the last two years. Pain was the main reason given for a fear of the dentist, with 46% saying they think it will hurt. The BDA has pointed to the cost of NHS dentistry as the main reason for an increase in DIY dentistry. ‘Whenever governments fail to invest in NHS dentistry, we find desperate patients opting for “DIY” alternatives,’ BDA chair of General Dental Practice at the time, Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, said.

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July/August Orthodontic Practice 2019