Estimating the need for dental sedation. 3. Analysis of factors contributing to non-attendance for dental treatment in the general population, across 12 English primary care trusts

Br Dent J. 2011 Dec 23;211(12):599-603. doi: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2011.1053.


Background: This is the third paper in a series of four examining a tool which could be used to determine sedation need among patients.

Aim: The aim of this paper was to assess the reasons why people do not attend the dentist regularly, in order to understand the potential need for sedation services among both attending and non-attending patients.

Methods and results: A large telephone survey conducted across 12 primary care trusts (PCTs) found that 17% of participants did not attend the dentist regularly. One of the top reasons given for non-attendance that could be considered a barrier was fear/anxiety. The figure reached in paper 2 ( 2011; 211: E11) stated that approximately 5% of attending patients will, at some time, need sedation services. However, the data from this survey have suggested that anxiety accounts for 16% of people who do not attend the dentist regularly.

Conclusion: It could be assumed that if non-attending patients were included, with high levels of anxiety, the sedation need would rise to 6.9% throughout the entire population.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anesthesia, Dental / statistics & numerical data*
  • Asian People / statistics & numerical data
  • Attitude to Health
  • Black People / statistics & numerical data
  • Conscious Sedation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Dental Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Dental Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Care Planning / statistics & numerical data
  • Patient Dropouts / psychology
  • Patient Dropouts / statistics & numerical data
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • State Dentistry / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vulnerable Populations / statistics & numerical data
  • White People / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult