Table 4

Quotations for theme 2: oral health perceptions and experiences

Subtheme: personal challenges and opportunities for dental intervention and oral health maintenance
PQ14“I mean, a lot of mine stems from childhood, you know, I was like eight years old and the guy was kneeling on my chest to pull my teeth out.” – Participant 14
PQ15“I have told them about the, the heart but I’m not sure about the arthritis to be quite honest with you.” – Participant 12
PQ16“To be honest, I’d put that [my stomach] first, because … I would like me mouth sorting out, but me stomach … it’s more or less every day.” – Participant 5
PQ17“Life takes over and it’s, you know, if you did nothing else but the intensive list of all the things you’re supposed to do all day, you’d get nothing else done …” – Participant 7
HPQ11“I think a lot [of] the people are nervous about going to the dentist and that makes them anxious perhaps about seeking care if they probably maybe go a bit late … I think people in general are nervous about having any work done to their teeth or their mouth because they think it’s gonna be painful.” – Healthcare professional 11
HPQ12“… the patients come with dental problems and they say they can’t get a dentist appointment. And then the GP was saying she picked up the phone and the dentist say, ‘yeah I’ve, I’ve got spaces’ … we know there’s good research there that’s shows that patients often don’t want to see a dentist because they know that the dentist will say that they need an operative procedure and so they’re avoiding because so many of the population are dental phobic and so is it 48% are dentally anxious and 12% are dental phobic.” – Healthcare professional 8
Subtheme: External barriers to dental intervention and oral health maintenance
PQ18“I don’t think anybody can get hold of an NHS dentist anymore, I think they’re amiss, aren’t they? … I think they’re unicorns.” – Participant 7
PQ19“I don’t even think he put his hands in me mouth, he just kind of, you know, had a quick look and that was it, yeah, everything’s great.” – Participant 1
PQ20“I think probably barriers, probably NHS cuts and time for dentist they’ve got to spend with each patient means that they can’t go into, or I feel that’s probably the reason, or hope it is the reason why they can’t go into as much detail and explain, because I were never really told about me gum disease.” – Participant 3
PQ21“Maybe though, if it had been your teeth are gonna fall out, oh and all these, these other things, you’re gonna have a heart attack or blah, de, blah, you know. Yeah, I think that would’ve, that would’ve been, that would’ve been an additional motivation.” – Participant 2
HPQ13“People struggle to get access to a dentist. They struggle to get access to an NHS dentist. I think that’s throughout the country. They struggle to get routine dental care on the NHS and they struggle to get emergency dental care on the NHS …” – Healthcare professional 5
HPQ14“Certainly where I used to work in a very deprived centre … a lot of patients didn’t have a dentist. Where that is much less so now cause I work in … a relatively affluent area and most people there do have access to their own dentist.” – Healthcare professional 6
HPQ15“I think probably one a’ the biggest barriers that we find then is that when we advise patients to see a dentist, they just say they can’t get one … NHS dental services is stretched, and we get a lot that they just can’t get on the lists or they can’t get another appointment.” – Healthcare professional 7
HPQ16“But I think that, yeah probably makes us maybe think less about asking the patients about their teeth because we know they can’t get in to see a dentist anyway.” – Healthcare professional 11
HPQ17“So I think it, if it was something we were to build into a review it, I suppose in a way we would have to feel that they could then access that service, as opposed to us signposting them to something that they’d struggle with.” – Healthcare professional 7
HPQ18“And you know there’s a lot of people cannot afford private dentistry and there are very few NHS dentists these days that have got any spaces at all for patients. And I think it’s really important that they can access something that’s affordable because they are more at risk than most other people. And it’s, it’s, it’s very sad that they can’t get hold of a dentist and they don’t go when they ought to because they can’t afford it and that’s the big problem. I mean it’s a big problem for everybody I think.” – Healthcare professional 10
HPQ19 “…obviously if someone is on benefits and things like that they are exempt but many people will not be and still would be, would see price as a barrier to access … So it’s the anxiety, it’s the, the payment issues.” – Healthcare professional 11