Survey: 1 in 3 Americans Admits to Being Nervous about Seeing the Dentist

Posted on February 11, 2016

Doylestown, PA (February 1, 2016) – 1 out of 3 Americans admits to being nervous about seeing the dentist and nearly half consider dental visits a “necessary evil,” according to the results of an online survey published today. Conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of OPT-In Dental Advantage, the nation’s first branded private practice organization dedicated to patient advocacy, the survey found that misconceptions about dental visits persist among a significant portion of Americans.

“Despite considerable advancements in preventative care and technology, making dentistry easier and more comfortable than ever before, patients still have real concerns about dental visits,” said OPT-In Dental Advantage Founder and President, Dr. Dean Mersky. “We as dentists have a responsibility to address those concerns. We need to bridge the gap between truth and fiction to create trust between dentists and patients. That’s why OPT-In is launching a dental education campaign, Speaking The Tooth, focused on dispelling patients’ fears by sharing free and accessible information about everything from the reality of how dental insurance works to what to ask your dentist at every check-up.”

The survey of more than 2,000 adults released today also revealed that older patients tend to have more negative perceptions of dental visits than their younger counterparts, and nearly 1 in 5 of those polled lacks certainty about their personal dental health.

“We want to address the factors that are preventing patients from feeling confident and comfortable in their interactions with their dentists,” Dr. Mersky explained. “Sharing quality information about the true in’s-and-out’s of oral health will open communication channels and help make patient-dentist relationships what they should be. It’s time to take the worry and mystery out of a dental visit and make the experience one that builds confidence instead.”

In support of the aim of empowering patients through access to dental information, Speaking The Tooth materials are now available on the OPT-In website

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