Although 50.2% of the Portuguese say they do not need oral health care, this figure has reduced by 20.1 percentage points compared to 2021, according to the 7th edition of the barometer promoted by the Portuguese Dental Association (OMD) and which surveyed 1,102 people over 15 years of age.

In turn, the number of Portuguese people who cannot afford to go to the dentist increased (29.5%) by 7.4 percentage points, showing “the effects of the current crisis”.

For the chairman of the OMD, Miguel Pavão, the first reason given by people is an idea that needs to be fought through literacy.

“We all need to undo this prejudice of people saying they don't need it because one of the fundamental roles [of oral health] is a preventive, maintenance approach, in which routine dental appointments are essential”, he said.

Miguel Pavão also considered the number of people who do not go to the dentist for economic reasons worrying.

“There is an appeal here to the population that, regardless of the fact that we are all more burdened on the issue of inflation, the increase in living costs, it is fundamental and essential to have a preventive approach that is also much less costly and can prevent bigger problems", he defended.