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Why Middle Aged Adults Avoid the Dentist: Cost and Fear Are Big Factors

Are you embarrassed by the condition of your teeth? Do you have dental problems that are causing pain, difficulty eating, or missed work? Have you been skipping your regular preventive dental cleanings?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions you're not alone. The dental health of middle-aged Americans faces a lot of problems right now according to new results from the University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging.

Here are some of the surprising statistics:

  • Thirty percent of Americans between the ages of 50 and 64 say they're embarrassed by the condition of their teeth.
  • A slightly larger percentage say dental problems have caused pain, difficulty with eating, missed work or other health problems in the past two years.
  • Forty percent of Americans don't get regular cleanings or other preventive care that can help them avoid dental problems.

Why don't people get needed dental care? Cost was the most commonly reported answer, given by 69 percent who said they did not get, or delayed, needed care. One in five cited fear of the dentist as a major factor for not receiving care.

Insurance coverage has a lot to do with this lack of care. Nearly one-third of those surveyed did not have dental insurance and one-half did not know how they will get dental insurance coverage after they turn 65.

Creating Opportunities To Help Our Patients

"Oral health is a critical factor in overall wellness - for example, people with

periodontal disease

are at greater risk for

Alzheimer's Disease




certain cancers

, and rheumatoid arthritis" states Dr. Jeff Morrison, of

Jeff M.Morrison & Assoc., DDS

. This research helps us identify some key issues -- such as lack of insurance coverage and dental fear -- which may be keeping patients from the receiving the care they need. It also allows us to create opportunities to encourage these patients to come in."

"For example, because regular preventive dental care and early treatment for problems can be out of reach for those without dental insurance, we created the

St. Mary's Street Dental Savings Plan

. This in-office plan covers the cost for annual preventive care and offers a significant savings off all other treatment throughout the year. We also offer a variety of payment options, including Care Credit dental financing." says Dr. Morrison.

"We also understand that fear keeps many people from the dentist, and our entire staff works hard to address the anxiety and concerns among patients of all ages."

Are you delaying needed preventive care or treatment - for any reason? Give us a call at (919) 755-3450 and let our friendly staff help you find a solution. You can also go


and schedule.

Story Source:  

Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan. "Tooth trouble: Many middle-aged adults report dental pain, embarrassment and poor prevention: More than 1 in 4 lack dental insurance now, and half don't know how they'll get it after age 65, U-M/AARP National Poll on Healthy Aging finds."