Financial Fear of the Dentist Worse Than the Drill

Jan 12, 2011, 06:09 ET from Tesco Bank

LONDON, Jan. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- It used to be a fear of the dentist that kept us away from the dental chair but today it is more than twice as likely to be the cost of dental care that's holding us back, according to research from Tesco Dental Insurance.

Over a third of us (35%) haven't visited the dentist in more than 18 months and one in ten hasn't been for more than five years. Just 13% admit to staying away for fear of the drill. However, for almost a third, being without dental insurance means it is the high cost of treatment that stops them from visiting the dentist. For a further third (34 per cent), it's that they have not registered with a local dentist.

The survey, examining our oral hygiene habits, also reveals that a lack of available NHS treatment is causing people to travel further for their dental treatment. So highly-valued is NHS treatment that, on average, a UK adult would travel nine miles to secure a place with an NHS dentist.  

These journeys, or "dental miles", increase to as many as 16 for the people of Aberystwyth or 13 for Geordies.

Prepared to travel the most "dental miles" to register with an NHS dentist



Average miles



16 miles



13 miles



11.5 miles



11 miles



11 miles

Head of Tesco Dental Insurance, Jonathan Daniels, commented: "Far from being a nation of 'dentophobes', the research actually suggests we are prepared to go the extra mile, or even ten, in order to receive affordable dental care. Dental health should be a major part of everyone's daily routine and regular check-ups can actually reduce the risk of needing expensive major procedures."

For media enquiries please contact:

Victoria Lomax, Tesco Bank, 0131 479 1345,

Monica McCormack, Tesco Bank, 0131 479 1346

Tesco Bank Press Office: 020 7492 0975, 

Notes to editors:

Research carried out by 72 Point Ltd, on behalf of Tesco Bank. Total sample size was 3,000 adults across 30 cities in the UK. Fieldwork was undertaken between 18th and 20th May 2010.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

Notes to editors:

Tesco Dental Insurance

  • Tesco Dental Insurance is provided by AXA PPP healthcare and can help manage the cost of routine visits to the dentist and unexpected treatment costs.
  • For NHS dental patients, Core Cover starts from 9.95 pounds per month. For private dental patients, Premium Cover starts from 19.95 pounds per month.
  • For more information, visit  

Tesco Bank

  • Tesco Bank is the UK's largest supermarket bank. Since our launch in 1997, we have grown to 6.5 million customer accounts across 28 financial products and services.
  • Our principal activities are: general insurance - motor, home, pet and travel; credit cards and personal loans; personal savings; Tesco Compare and a network of cash machines (ATMs).
  • We sell our products through multiple channels including in-store, by telephone and online.
  • Tesco Bank is fully owned by Tesco plc.
  • Tesco Bank is a trading name of Tesco Personal Finance plc. Registered in Scotland No. 173199. Registered Address: Interpoint Building, 22 Haymarket Yards, Edinburgh, EH12 5BH

SOURCE Tesco Bank