A third of Aussies delayed visit to dentist

A NEW survey of 25,000 Australians has found that one in three people postponed dental treatment in the last 12 months due to COVID-related concerns.

The Australian Dental Association report found that of those that postponed, this included 23 per cent of 18-24s rising to 41 per cent of 65-74s, with more women than men putting it off across all age ranges.

The main reason for delaying was that they felt that their dental problem was not urgent (26 per cent), while 17 per cent were concerned about catching COVID at the dental clinic or travelling to it.

Cost was also a factor with 16 per cent reporting not being in a financial position for dental care and 14 per cent did not attend due to lockdowns or were unable to travel to the dental clinic.

“These statistics tell us a lot about where oral health is sitting for people during the Covid pandemic,” said the ADA’s Dr Mikaela Chinotti (pictured).

“With people losing their jobs or working reduced hours, dental care took on a lesser priority or was inaccessible during lockdowns for some families.

“That said though, with two thirds of people still getting treatments or attending for check-ups particularly in states less impacted by lockdowns, this is good news for the nation’s oral health because oral conditions left untreated can result in serious consequences including on the rest of the body.”

Of those who put off a visit, 42 per cent were putting off a usual dental check-up, 26 per cent were putting off checking a new problem, and 24 per cent were delaying treating an existing problem.