The real fear of dental chair revealed

December 8, 2010
The real fear of dental chair revealed

Nearly one in five women – and one in ten men – will suffer ‘extreme dental anxiety’ before they even sit in the dentist’s chair, according to the biggest adult dental survey for a decade.

The results of the 2009 Adult Dental Health (ADHS), which includes findings from Newcastle University, also reveal that a greater percentage of younger adults experience extreme dental anxiety, than older adults.

The study, which gives a snapshot of adults’ teeth across England, Northern Ireland and Wales, shows that a greater percentage of adults in Wales have poor dental health compared to their counterparts in England.

The ADHS, which has taken place every decade since 1968, found that:

• ‘Extreme dental anxiety’ in the dentist’s waiting room affected 19 per cent of all adult women and 10 per cent of all men.

• Fifteen per cent of adults aged 16 to 24 and 25 to 34 had ‘extreme dental anxiety’ compared with 9 per cent of adults over 85

The survey, commissioned by The NHS Information Centre, was carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) working in partnership the National Centre for Social Research and a team of academics from the Universities of Birmingham, Cardiff, Dundee, Newcastle and University College London.

A total of 11,380 adults were interviewed for the survey, and 6,469 were examined, making this the largest ever epidemiological survey of adult dental health in the UK.

Today's report can be accessed at: www.ic.nhs.uk/pubs/dentalsurvey09

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