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Oral Health

Latest Data

Explore the latest data and disparities for this indicator.

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Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

Over the past decade, there was no significant change in the percentage of persons aged 2 years and over who had a dental visit in the past 12 months (44.6% in 2004 and 43.2% in 2014, age adjusted). In 2014, several population groups in specific demographic categories had the highest rate of a dental visit in the past 12 months, including females, the white non-Hispanic population, persons aged 2–17 years, those with at least some college education, those with family incomes 400% of the poverty threshold or above, and persons with private health insurance.

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 2014, 43.2% of persons aged 2 years and over had a dental visit in the past 12 months.
  • In 2014, females aged 2 years and over had a 14.6% higher rate of a dental visit in the past 12 months than males (46.1% versus 40.2%, age adjusted).
  • 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 2014. Rates for the other age groups were:
    • 34.9% among persons aged 18–44 years; the best group rate was 56.4% higher
    • 44.4% among persons aged 45–64 years; the best group rate was 22.9% higher
    • 46.4% among persons aged 65 years and over; the best group rate was 17.6% higher
  • Among education groups for persons aged 25 years and over, those who attended at least some college had the highest rate of a dental visit in the past 12 months, 57.9% (age adjusted) in 2014. Rates for other education groups were:
    • 17.7% (age adjusted) among those with less than a high school education; the best group rate was more than 3 times as high
    • 36.0% (age adjusted) among those with a high school education or GED; the best group rate was 60.7% higher

Persons with a Dental Visit by Education, 2014

Persons with a Dental Visit by Education, 2014

Data source: Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), AHRQ.

  • Among income groups, those aged 2 years and over with family incomes 400% of the poverty threshold or above had the highest rate of a dental visit in the past 12 months, 57.2% (age adjusted) in 2014. Rates for other income groups were:
    • 28.7% among those with family incomes below the poverty threshold; the best group rate was twice as high
    • 30.6% among those with family incomes between 100% and 199% of the poverty threshold; the best group rate was 87.0% higher
    • 40.2% among those with family incomes between 200% and 399% of the poverty threshold; the best group rate was 42.3% higher

Persons with a Dental Visit by Family Income, 2014
Persons with a Dental Visit by Family Income, 2014

Data source: Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), AHRQ.

  • Among racial and ethnic groups, the white non-Hispanic population aged 2 years and over had the highest rate of a dental visit in the past 12 months, 49.1% (age adjusted) in 2014. Rates for other racial and ethnic groups were:
    • 30.5% (age adjusted) among the Hispanic population (lowest rate); the best group rate was 61.2% higher
    • 32.0% (age adjusted) among the black, non-Hispanic population; the best group rate was 53.8% higher
    • 38.3% (age adjusted) among the American Indian or Alaska Native population; the best group rate was 28.3% higher
    • 39.8% (age adjusted) among persons who identified with 2 or more races; the best group rate was 23.4% higher
    • 40.5% (age adjusted) among the Asian population; the best group rate was 21.3% higher
  • Among health insurance groups, persons aged 2–64 years with private health insurance had the highest rate of a dental visit in the past 12 months, 49.9% (age adjusted) in 2014. Rates for other health insurance status groups were:
    • 16.1% (age adjusted) among the uninsured; the best group rate was more than 3 times as high
    • 32.1% (age adjusted) among those with public insurance; the best group rate was 55.7% higher
    • Note that some, but not all, health insurance plans include dental coverage.
  • Persons aged 20 years and over who were not obese had an 11.4% higher rate of a dental visit in the past 12 months than those who were obese (40.6% versus 36.4%, age adjusted) in 2014.

Endnotes:

  • All disparities described are statistically significant at the 0.05 level of significance.
  • Unrounded values with additional decimal places beyond what are shown here are used in calculating health disparities, including identifying the best group and calculating the differences between groups. Rounded values displayed here are used in calculating changes over time and percent change needed to meet the target.
  • Data (except those by educational attainment, health insurance coverage, 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 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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