Financial Fear of the Dentist Worse Than the Drill

By Tesco Bank, PRNE
Tuesday, January 11, 2011

LONDON, January 12, 2011 - 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

    Rank City          Average miles
    1.   Aberystwyth   16 miles
    2.   Newcastle     13 miles
    3.   Swansea       11.5 miles
    4.   Gloucester    11 miles
    5.   Aberdeen      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

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

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 GBP9.95 per
    month. For private dental patients, Premium Cover starts from GBP19.95
    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

For media enquiries please contact:

Victoria Lomax, Tesco Bank, +44(0)131-479-1345,

Monica McCormack, Tesco Bank, +44(0)131-479-1346

Tesco Bank Press Office: +44(0)20-7492-0975,

For media enquiries please contact: Victoria Lomax, Tesco Bank, +44(0)131-479-1345,
victoria.lomax at; Monica McCormack, Tesco Bank, +44(0)131-479-1346
monica.mccormack at; Tesco Bank Press Office: +44(0)20-7492-0975,
tescobank at

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