Deferring Dental Treatment Unwise, Warns BDA

By: British Dental Association  | 
Thursday, 17 February 2011

Concerns about the economic climate are leading patients in England to cancel dental appointments and defer treatments they need, according to research by the British Dental Association (BDA).

The unfortunate knock-on effect of these decisions is an increase in the number of patients presenting at surgeries requiring emergency treatment.

A survey carried out by the BDA found that 59 per cent of dentists questioned had seen their patients cancel appointments, while 68 per cent reported decisions to defer treatment. Unsurprisingly, given these trends, more than a third of practitioners said they had seen an increased demand for emergency treatment during the past twelve months.

Dr Susie Sanderson, Chair 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."