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Preventative Dental Care Access

Posted by on 12/13/2013

According to a recently published study in Frontiers in Public Health, a significant portion of Americans do not have access to preventative dental care. Though preventative dental visits have become more common, nearly 1/3 of Americans still do not make routine visits. The study found that there was a significant disparity among ethnic groups as well.

 

According to the study of over 650,000  adults from 1999-2008 the rates of  preventive care were:

 Preventative Dental visits

  • Asian Americans - 77%
  • Caucasian - 76%
  • Hispanics - 62%
  • Native Americans - 62%
  • African Americans - 57%

 

Cited among the reasons for the gap in preventative care were income, education, and insurance. It was noted also that some of the cultural differences may be due to the awareness of dental concerns, and access to competent providers.

 

Of note, the study had also indicated that those with health insurance were significantly more likely to get routine dental care.

 

Outstanding factors from the study were that women were 33% more likely to seek out preventative dental care, while a high risk group of smokers were less likely than others to visit the dentist.

 

Currently, the ADA recommends preventative care visits every 6 months as well as routine dental hygiene. Effective oral hygiene can have a significant effect on both oral and systemic wellness.