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Have you seen a GP for problems with your teeth and gums?

19 May 2017

GP chatting to patient

Researchers at Cardiff University are undertaking a study to discover why patients may consult a GP when experiencing dental problems.

The Seeking Care study, in partnership with dentists from the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, is currently recruiting UK adults who have been to see their GP with a problem in their teeth or gums in the last 12 months.

The study follows previous Cardiff University research which showed that over half of patients who consult their GP when experiencing a dental problem are unlikely to receive the most appropriate treatment for their condition.

7,500 people a week

Dr Anwen Cope, who is leading the research, said: “Research shows that as many as 7,500 people a week visit their GP rather than a dentist when experiencing dental problems.”

The BDA claims that increasing charges for NHS dental care mean that many patients are forced to consult a GP instead and calls instead for more funding for NHS dentistry.

But, as Dr Cope explains: “In reality a lot is still unknown about the reasons why patients may go to see their doctor instead of a dentist...”

“While some patients may be put off by the price, there may be others who are too anxious to step into a dental surgery. Furthermore some patients may want to see a dentist but can’t due to inflexible working hours or lack of transport.”

Dr Anwen Cope Senior Clincial Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Dental Public Health

“These are some of the factors that we hope to explore in the Seeking Care study.”

To find out more information and participate in the Seeking Care study visit the website. Everyone who takes part in the study will receive a £10 shopping voucher.

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