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​Dentists say "don’t fuel dental anxiety"

31 July 2015


The British Dental Association (BDA) has commented on a string of recent stories on the dental profession.
Mick Armstrong, Chair of the British Dental Association, said:
“Good health and effective treatment rests on trust between practitioner and patient. It is therefore deeply unfortunate that so many stories in recent days have sought to undermine that relationship for the sake of a cheap headline.

“Quite simply dental anxiety leads patients to avoid treatment. And that comes at a cost, to their health and to the health service, when patients with preventable conditions end up in hospital.
“Dentists want to help those patients who are nervous about receiving treatment. Dusting off vintage 'Marathon Man' clichés for another by-numbers dig at the profession will not aid them in that task.
“Modern dentistry bears no relation to these antiquated stereotypes. Practitioners are focusing on prevention, not intervention, and they do not want to see anxious patients given yet another reason to miss out on needed treatment.”

Dental Anxiety: the Facts

  • One in every seven adults who has ever been to a dentist suffers from extreme dental anxiety
  • The most common fears for visiting a dentist are having a tooth drilled (30%) and having a local anaesthetic injection (28%)
  • Visiting the Dentist is ranked number one (22%) for making people nervous, closely followed by heights (19%). Nearly 10 times as many people (22%) are nervous of visiting their dentists, compared to their doctor (2%).

Data courtesy of the British Dental Health Foundation

About the BDA

The British Dental Association (BDA) is the professional association and trade union for dentists in the UK. It represents dentists working in general practice, in community and hospital settings, in academia and research, and in the armed forces, and includes dental students. The BDA promotes members’ interests, advances the science, arts and ethics of dentistry, and contributes towards improving the nation's oral health.

For further information, please contact the BDA's media team on 0207 563 4145/46 or visit the BDA's news centre. You can also follow news from the BDA on Twitter. Membership packages reflect the varied needs of dentists.