Cost 'puts off some going to the dentist'

Patient being treated by dentist
Image caption The survey is the largest of its kind

The cost of NHS dentistry is prompting some patients to delay treatment or opt for cheaper care, a survey suggests.

The NHS Information Centre poll of more than 11,000 people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland found a fifth had put off treatment over price.

The Adult Dental Health Survey, which is carried out every decade, also found a quarter said cost influenced the kind of treatment they opted for.

NHS dental care is subsidised, but patients still pay towards their care.

There are three price bands ranging form £16.50 for a basic check-up to £198 for complex procedures, including crowns.

Pregnant women, those on low incomes and children are exempt from paying.

As well as highlighting cost, more than one in 10 said extreme anxiety deterred them from the dentists, while a fifth cited dissatisfaction with previous treatments.

Of those surveyed, 58% said they had tried to make an NHS dental appointment over the past three years, of which 92% were successful. However, that does not mean the rest did not have dental treatment as some would have paid for private care.

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