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The sad tooth: one in three people avoid dentists

The Local · 6 Apr 2011, 15:13

Published: 06 Apr 2011 15:13 GMT+02:00

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The Tooth Report 2011, released this week, found that 30 percent of people in Germany with health insurance go to a dentist less than once a year.

“When almost every third person doesn’t see their dentist regularly we really need to ask ourselves whether it is individual dentists that are the problem, or are more people becoming averse to private healthcare?” said Rolf-Ulrich Schlenker, vice president of Barmer GEK.

Men aged between 20 and 25 were particularly averse to dentists, with only 55% having gone in 2009 compared to 67% of women the same age.

On average though, a person in Germany visits the dentist just over twice a year and half of those visits are check-ups, putting Germany within normal range on international comparisons.

However, the study also noted a difference between people in the former east and west of Germany. Residents of eastern states Saxony and Thuringia make an average of 2.4 visits compared to 1.9 and 1.8 in western states Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland.

The author of the study, Thomas Schäfer, explains that this may be partly due to there being a higher number of dentists in the east, as well as “the methods by which some were raised in the former DDR playing a role.”

Especially concerning was the fact that six percent of all fillings are now being put into milk teeth, while 28.9 percent of people had at least one filling in 2009. Around nine percent of people have had at least one tooth removed.

Story continues below…

Barmer GEK used data from 2009 on more than eight million of its members.

The Local/rm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:35 April 6, 2011 by D_J
Maybe because they fear that Dentist will try to rob them with any issues? OR the dentists equipment won't be well sterlized?

I have these two concerns!
19:50 April 6, 2011 by Fatz Lewinski
I'm really concerned that someone is going to use my mouth to take a picture like this!
22:17 April 6, 2011 by dcgi
Love the expert photoshopping on that photo :)
00:24 April 7, 2011 by Johnne
Or maybe they should remove @way2cool´s already condemmed set of teeth! :-D
08:04 April 7, 2011 by auniquecorn
there´s only one route they could of taken to get that camera where its at.
09:59 April 7, 2011 by freechoice
i would rather do without my tooth than to have a root canal!
16:45 May 10, 2011 by Lisa Rusbridge
Types of insurance likely has little to do with it. The majority of people I know pay cash for the dentist (zero medical coverage allowed for non-surgical dental) and they still go twice a year. People associate the dentist and dental work with pain and probably this is why people avoid going.

"Around 9% of people having at least one tooth removed" seems low to me. Don't most people have their 4 wisdom teeth extracted before their 25 years old? I would think the number would be closer to 80% or higher.
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