Nearly 40% of people in the UK can't afford regular trips to the dentist

Published Date: 06 May 11

According to healthcare provider Simplyhealth's Annual Dental Survey 2011, nearly 40% of people in the UK admit to skipping routine visits to the dentist as they can't afford to pay the bills. To help make these bills more affordable, Simplyhealth is running an exclusive 'two months free' offer to all new customers who purchase a Simply Dental Plan online via

James Glover, a Simplyhealth spokesperson comments: "With the rising cost of living and with NHS dental charges in England on the increase, it's important that people are financially prepared for the costs associated with looking after their oral health. Worryingly, not only are individuals skipping appointments but our research also shows that those who attend could be managing their dental bills more effectively. For example, 16% use their credit card to pay for treatment over £150, which could cost them more money in the long term if not paid off quickly. Dental plans and cash plans are a great way of helping individuals and families to spread the cost of visiting the dentist, ensuring dental care is affordable even when finances don't allow.

"As well as routine dental appointments, unexpected or emergency trips to the dentist can often result in costly treatment. With just over 30% of people stating they have had to take their children to one or more emergency appointments in the last five years, budgeting for the unexpected visits is essential."

Cost also influences people's choice of dentist, as 13% have left a dentist in the last three years due to high bills. 22% of people also admitted to leaving their current practitioner after they switched from practicing NHS dentistry to private dentistry. Those between the ages of 25-34 are the most likely, with 28% moving dentists in the last three years.

Michael Thomas, Practicing Dentist and Simplyhealth's Dental Advisor, comments: "Its encouraging to see that nearly 60% of people surveyed have visited the dentist in the last year. Regular trips to the dentist are vitally important, not only to check the health of your teeth and gums but to ensure that your complete oral health is maintained. For instance Simplyhealth's research found that only 34% would think to speak to their dentist about identifying mouth cancer. Individuals shouldn't forget to take full advantage of their dental appointments and ask their dentist for advice and guidance on the health of their mouth."
The survey shows that individuals living in Wales and Scotland are less worried about the cost of visiting the dentist with only 31% citing cost as a preventative factor. This is not surprising as dental charges in Wales remain frozen at 2006 levels and NHS dental patients in Scotland only pay 80% of NHS dental treatment fees. 

With a Simply Cash Plan or Simply Dental Plan you can claim back money towards the cost of check-ups, treatment and emergency dental surgery, from the day you sign up. Our plans entitle you to claim for as many treatments as you want up to your annual limit. You simply pay a monthly premium and once you've attended your appointment you can claim the money back, by completing a claim form and sending off the receipt. For further information please visit

Notes to Editor:

  • The Simplyhealth Annual Dental Survey 2011 as well as interviews with Michael Thomas, case studies and a spokesperson from Simplyhealth are available upon request
  • The research for the Simplyhealth Annual Dental Survey 2011 was carried out online by OnePoll between 8 March 2011 - 14 March 2011 amongst a panel resulting in 10,000 worker respondents. All research conducted adheres to the MRS Codes of Conduct (2010) in the UK and ICC/ESOMAR World Research Guidelines

About Simplyhealth:

  • We became Simplyhealth in 2009 after bringing together HSA, BCWA, LHF, HealthSure and Totally Active, our family of health companies have joined together over the last nine years to form Simplyhealth
  • We've been providing healthcare solutions for nearly 140 years, dedicated to serving our customers through a variety of cash plans, dental plans, private medical insurance, healthcare trusts and mobility and living aids
  • Simplyhealth is a trading name of Simplyhealth Access, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority
  • As of December 2010, Simplyhealth had 1.2 million customers providing cover for some 2 million lives
  • Simplyhealth is committed to making a positive impact on its communities. Last year, we donated £1.6 million to health related charities and causes

For further information, please bother us at:

Lynsey Thorp, Public Relations Executive 0844 579 2266
Caroline Lakeman, Public Relations Manager 0844 579 2274/07795 294447

Or [email protected]

The information contained in these articles is intended to be for general interest, and should not be relied upon for specific conditions or complaints. You should always consult your GP or other healthcare practitioner for specific advice. The information provided is not the opinion of Simplyhealth and has been sourced through a third party.

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