A new nationwide survey reveals that more than a third of people haven’t been to the dentist in the last year. It also showed who was most likely–and least likely–to see the dentist.
The results come from the new Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey, an updating of a similar survey conducted in 2008. This study shows that even fewer adults are seeing their dentist than in previous years. Last year, about 1% fewer people had seen a dentist in the last year than in 2008, 64.7% compared to 65.7% in 2008. Men were significantly less likely to see their dentist with an even bigger drop than women since 2008. Last year, 62.0% of men had seen a dentist in the previous year, down from 63.5% in 2008, compared to 67.2% of women who had seen a dentist last year, only a slight drop from the 67.8% in 2008.
Ethnicity remains a big divide in terms of people who see their dentist annually. Last year, only about 55% of blacks and Hispanics had seen their dentist in the last year, compared to nearly 70% of Asians and whites.
But among age groups there is little difference as far as who goes to the dentist. People aged 18-24 had the lowest rate of seeing the dentist, with 62.4% having seen a dentist in the last year. This isn’t that much different from the highest group, people aged 45-54, with 66.7% of them having seen the dentist in the last year. There was a very large increase in people age 65+ going to the dentist. In 2008, only 59.0% of people in this age group had seen a dentist, but last year, the survey showed 63.4% had seen a dentist.
As with many aspects of healthcare in the US, income was the most significant barrier to people seeing their dentist. People at the highest income level ($120,000+) also had the highest rate of seeing a dentist (82.3%), while those at the lowest income level (<$12,000) a year had the lowest rate of seeing the dentist (42.7%). Rates of seeing the dentist dropped at every income level except the highest.
Married status was the second biggest factor impacting dental visits. Married people were most likely to see the dentist, with 70.9% of people having seen their dentist in the last year. Single people saw the dentist with lower-than-average frequency: 60.7% of them reported having seen the dentist. Separated individuals had the lowest dental attendance, at 46.6%.
If you are overdue for seeing the dentist, Collins Dentistry & Aesthetics can help. Please call 509-368-7788 (Spokane) or 509-228-3998 (Spokane Valley) for an appointment today.
Or office in Spokane is located at:
3151 E. 28th Ave.
Spokane, WA 99223
Office phone # 509-368-7788