GDC publishes latest research on the public’s views and experiences of dentistry

25 May, 2023
We have today published our latest round of research into the public’s views and experiences of dentistry, which encompasses views on a range of issues, including use of and access to services, affordability, and confidence in dentistry.

The research shows that in 2022 there was a significant increase in the number of people seeing a dental professional compared with our previous round of research in 2021, with most respondents saying they were satisfied with the care they received. However, some people continued to experience issues in accessing dental care, particularly on the NHS, and our findings also show that the proportion of respondents accessing private dental services has risen since our last study. 

The research shows that around a quarter of patients are making an active choice to reduce their dental care due to concerns over costs. Those who are struggling with the cost of living may be more likely to visit a dental professional when they are experiencing a problem or know they need treatment, rather than for check-ups and prevention. 

In terms of public confidence, while two thirds of respondents said they were confident in the quality of dental services (should they need them), there was less confidence in being able to access dental services, with under two fifths confident of being able to access services when needed.

GDC Executive Director, Strategy, Stefan Czerniawski, said: 

“This research provides a rich and detailed picture of public experience of accessing and receiving dental care. Although more people report having had dental treatment than in previous years, the research highlights continuing difficulties in accessing dental services, and a lack of public confidence in getting appointments when they are needed. 

The issues highlighted by the research are not new or unexpected – but they do demonstrate the challenges still facing dentistry and the need to make progress in addressing them.”

Visit the research page