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Oral Health

Latest Data

Explore the latest data for the LHI topic Oral Health.
 

Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

Over the past decade, the percentage of persons aged 2 years and over who had a dental visit in the past 12 months, decreased 4% from 45.0% in 2003 to 43.0% in 2013 (age adjusted). In 2013, several population groups in specific demographic categories had the highest rate of a dental visit in the past 12 months including persons aged 2–17 years, those with at least some college education, those with family incomes 400% of the poverty threshold or above, the white non-Hispanic population, and persons with private health insurance.

Leading Health Indicators

Explore the latest data and disparities for each indicator.
 

Annual Dental Visits (OH-7)

  • Healthy People 2020 objective OH-7 tracks the proportion of persons aged 2 years and over who had a dental visit in the past 12 months.
    • HP2020 Baseline: In 2007, 44.5% of persons aged 2 years and over had a dental visit in the past 12 months.  
    • HP2020 Target: 49.0%, a 10% improvement over the baseline. 
    • Most recent: In 2013, 43.0% of persons aged 2 years and over had a dental visit in the past 12 months.  
  • Females (46.1%, age adjusted) aged 2 years and over had a higher percentage with a dental visit in the past 12 months than males (39.8%, age adjusted) in 2013. 
  • Persons aged 2–17 years had the highest rate of a dental visit in the past 12 months, 54.6%, among broad age groups in 2013. Percentages for the other age groups were:
    • 35.1% among persons aged 18–44 years
    • 43.8% among persons aged 45–64 years
    • 45.3% among persons aged 65 years and over
  • Among education groups for persons aged 25 years and over, those with at least some college education had the highest percentage with a dental visit in the past 12 months, 50.4% (age adjusted) in 2013. Percentages for other education groups were:
    • 17.5% (age adjusted) among those with less than a high school education (lowest percentage)
    • 29.8% (age adjusted) among those with a high school education or GED
    • The rate for those with at least some college education was more than 2.5 times that of the population with less than a high school education.

Persons with a Dental Visit by Education, 2013 

Dental visits by education level

Data source: Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), AHRQ.
 
  • Among income groups, those with family incomes 400% of the poverty threshold or above had the highest percentage with a dental visit in the past 12 months, 55.5% (age adjusted) in 2013. Percentages for other income groups were:
    • 27.6% among those with family incomes below the poverty threshold (lowest rate)
    • 31.6% among those with family incomes between 100% and 199% of the poverty threshold
    • 41.7% among those with family incomes between 200% and 399% of the poverty threshold
    • The percentage for those with family incomes 400% of the poverty threshold or above was twice that for those with family incomes below the poverty threshold.
  • Among racial and ethnic groups, the white non-Hispanic population had the highest percentage, with 48.4% (age adjusted) of persons aged 2 years and over visiting a dentist in the past 12 months in 2013. Percentages for other racial and ethnic groups were:
    • 31.1% (age adjusted) among the Hispanic or Latino population (lowest rate)
    • 32.2% (age adjusted) among the black non-Hispanic population
    • 37.8% (age adjusted) among the Asian population
    • 39.0% (age adjusted) among the Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander population 
    • 40.6% (age adjusted) among the American Indian or Alaska Native population 
    • 45.2% (age adjusted) among those who identified as 2 or more races; not significantly different than the rate for the white non-Hispanic population
  • In 2013, persons aged 2–64 years with private health insurance had the highest percentage with a dental visit in the past 12 months, 50.6% (age adjusted), among insurance groups. Those with public insurance and the uninsured had percentages of 31.4% and 19.2% (age adjusted), respectively. The percentage for those with private health insurance was more than 2.5 times that for the uninsured population. (Note that some, but not all, health insurance plans include dental coverage.)

Persons with a Dental Visit by Insurance Status, 2013

Insurance status and dental visits

Data source: Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), AHRQ.
 
  • Among disability status groups, persons without activity limitations (44.4%, age adjusted) aged 2 years and over had a higher percentage with a dental visit in the past 12 months than those with activity limitations (37.1%, age adjusted) in 2013. 
  • In 2013, persons aged 18 years and over who were divorced or separated had the highest percentage with a dental visit in the past 12 months, 43.4% (age adjusted), among marital status groups. Those who were never married, widowed, and married had percentages of 32.2%, 32.9%, and 35.8% (age adjusted), respectively. 
  • Persons aged 20 years and over who were not obese (40.8%, age adjusted) had a higher percentage with a dental visit than those who were obese (36.5%) in 2013. 
OH-7 Notes:
  • Unless otherwise stated, all disparities described are statistically significant at the 0.05 level of significance. 
  • Data (except those by educational attainment, health insurance coverage, marital status, obesity status, and age group) are age adjusted to the 2000 standard population using the age groups 2–17, 18–44, 45–54, 55–64, 65–74, and 75 years and over. Data by educational attainment are adjusted using the age groups 25–34, 35–44, 45–64, 65–74, and 75 years and over. Data by health insurance coverage are adjusted using the age groups 2–17, 18–44, 45–54, and 55–64. Data by marital status are adjusted using the age groups 18–44, 45–54, 55–64, 65–74, and 75 years and over. Data by obesity status are adjusted using the age groups 20–39, 40–59, and 60 years and over. Data by age group are not age adjusted. Age-adjusted rates are weighted sums of age-specific rates.
  • The terms “Hispanic or Latino” and “Hispanic” are used interchangeably in this report.  
  • Data for this measure are available annually and come from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), AHRQ. 

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