Berlin - Many people avoid the dentist: one in three visits no dentist at all within year. This was the result of the dental report 2011 presented today in Berlin by the health insurance company Barmer GEK. The annual visit to the practice should actually be matter of course, said the deputy chairman of the board, Rolf-Ulrich Schlenker.
Unhealthy teeth are particularly common in children with migration background or in socially disadvantaged backgrounds. According to the study, Germans visit dental practice an average of two times year. In contrast, there are seven treatments by the general practitioner. About half of the total population takes preventive treatment at least once year, the study also found. In an international comparison, Germany is in the midfield. Among the five to fifteen year olds, 80 percent have at least one dental contact per year. In men in particular, the curve drops sharply, as the study found. Men between the ages of 20 and 25 are particularly reluctant to go to the dentist. Overall, women's teeth are also treated more frequently. 72 percent of women go to the dentist once year, compared to only 65.5 percent of men. Expansion of group prophylaxis in schools required In addition, dental treatments are used more often in eastern Germany than in western Germany, the study found. The cause could be the higher density of practices and higher awareness of dental health. But lower proportion of foreigners in the new federal states also plays role, said Thomas Schäfer from the Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health System Research, which carried out the study.
Schäfer referred to study by the Robert Koch Institute, according to which children with migrant background had more problems with oral hygiene and dental care. In this context, Schlenker called for an expansion of preventive care through group prophylaxis in kindergartens and schools. This would contribute to greater awareness of dental health - especially among children, "whose parents cannot care for them in the way that would be desirable". The dental report is based on data from more than eight million insured persons from the former statutory health insurances Barmer and GEK from 2009. On January 1, 2010, Barmer and GEK merged to form the largest statutory health insurance company.dapd