The cost of living is rising, and 20% of adults are concerned that they won’t be able to afford to see a dentist regularly. A survey carried out by the Association of Dental Groups (ADG), revealed that 48% of young adults hadn’t been to a dentist in the last 12 months. In this age group, 30% admitted they were worried about the cost of dental treatment.
The poll showed that some people are already putting off going to the dentist because they either can’t afford to pay for treatment or they’re worried about the cost of needing further care following a routine check-up. A shortage of NHS dentists is making it increasingly difficult for patients to access lower costs, with many forced to join waiting lists.
Executive chair of the ADG, Neil Carmichael, said that horror stories are becoming more frequent, with patients forced to attempt DIY dentistry at home because they can’t get an appointment or afford to pay for private care. Mr Carmichael, a former Conservative MP, said that people should not be in a position where they have to choose between dental treatment and paying bills and putting food on the table. DIY dentistry will undoubtedly lead to more patients needing treatment, further increasing pressure on the NHS.
Nicola, a part-time NHS nurse from Sussex, is one of thousands of people who have tried to get a dental appointment. After failing multiple times, Nicola tried to extract a broken tooth at home using pliers. She couldn’t remove the tooth and ended up making the fracture worse. Unable to see an NHS dentist, she had to pay £650 for private treatment, which she couldn’t afford. She is now working overtime to clear her credit card and said that she has had recurrent nightmares after the incident.