Italians skipping dental appointments to save money

Istat says more people hanging on to own teeth

(ANSA) - Rome, July 7 - Italy's long-running recession has bitten hard into dental care, with a rising number of Italians delaying appointments with dentists for economic reasons, the national statistics agency Istat said Tuesday.
    It reported that in 2013, 12% of Italians aged 14 and older missed a cleaning or dental treatment in the previous 12 months.
    And more than 85% of those said that they skipped the dentist for economic reasons.
    Overall, 37.9% of the Italian population visited a dental health specialist in 2013, down from the 39.3% in 2005. The delays between appointments was also lengthening, Istat found.
    While 24% of those surveyed in 2005 said they would delay an appointment for as long as one to three years, that number increased in 2013 to 29.2% who opted for a long wait to see the dentist.
    The number of treatments also declined, with fully 70.7% saying they opted for just one type of treatment in 2013 versus 49.3% who chose a single treatment in 2005.
    A rising number has never been to a dentist, with 12.1% in 2013 compared with just 6.2% in 2005 who had never had dental care.
    Istat concluded that overall, oral health had improved in 2013 compared to 2005 as measured by the proportion of people aged 14 and over that still have all 28 of their natural teeth.
    That increased to 41.4% in 2013 from 37.8% in 2005, while those with no natural teeth decreased to 10.8% from the previous 12%.


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