Manchester is the UK’s fourth most afraid city when it comes to seeing the dentist, with residents fearing the dentist’s chair more than flying and heights according to a new study.
Almost two thirds of the city’s residents admitted that fear is the main reason they put off visiting the dentist – considerably higher than the 60% average of the UK.
Dental check-ups in the city are put off for 16 months, on average, making Manchester the country’s third worst at keeping up with dentist appointments.
While the potential prospect of pain, needles and having already endured bad experiences in the past play their part in making up the irrational fear factor, however, it’s the potential cost that fills residents with the most terror.
The inconvenience of having to book time off work to make an appointment was another major factor cited in keeping respondents away for check-ups.
The study by solicitor firm Neil Hudgell, who specialise in dental negligence, also revealed that the younger a person is the greater the fear. Over two in three 18-24-year-olds admit to being afraid of the dentist, compared to just over half of those aged over 55.
Just ahead of Manchester in first place in the list of most afraid cities was London, where 70% of people admitted they were staying away from the dentist’s chair due to fear. Plymouth and Birmingham were joint second in the fear stakes with a 66% scared ratio.
At the other end of the spectrum, with less than one in two residents admitting to being scared, Norwich can lay claim to the title of joint-bravest city.
In terms of the average time between check-ups patients in Plymouth wait the longest time at 18 months.
Simon Wilson, a specialist in handling dental negligence claims at Neil Hudgell Solicitors, said: “Many consider it to be irrational to fear a trip to the dentist, and that is because most people thankfully benefit from great dental care in the UK. Certainly, it is advisable to follow the lead of those in Leeds by having regular check-ups, as putting off a quick, simple examination can result in suffering pain down the line.
“However, we are seeing a rise in claims against negligent dentists, and this is perhaps making the dentist’s chair increasingly feared in parts of the country.