Nearly one in five women and one in ten men will suffer extreme dental anxiety before they even sit in the dentists chair, according to the biggest adult dental survey for a decade.
The results of the 2009 Adult Dental Health Survey (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 dentists 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 adults 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
Explore further: Storm chasers: born to be wild?