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A fifth of Brits delay dental care sue to costs

Just over a quarter (26%) of adults say the type of dental treatment they chose in the past has been affected by the cost of the treatment, according to official statistics published today.

The 2009 Adult Dental Health Survey, from the Office for National Statistics, also shows that almost a fifth (19%) said that they have delayed dental treatment for the same reason.

However, the survey suggests that adults' dental health continues to improve over time. While the large majority of adults who tried to get an NHS dental appointment in the three years prior to being interviewed for the survey successfully made and attended the appointment, accessing NHS dental services remained "difficult" for a small minority, the ONS said.

The survey, which covers England, Wales and Northern Ireland, was commissioned by the NHS Information Centre and carried out by the ONS.

Overall, half (50%) of all adults with at least one natural tooth reported that they attended the dentist at least once every six months, 21% indicated that they attended at least once a year, and a further six per cent once every two years.

Almost two-thirds (61%) of "dentate" adults (individuals with at least one natural tooth) said the usual reason they attended the dentist is for a regular check-up. Furthermore, 10% said that they attended for an occasional check-up, whilst 27% said that they attended when having trouble with their teeth, and 2% said that they never attended the dentist.

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