News | June 24, 1999

Survey reveals trends in dental care

Want to know how the patients you see compare with national trends? Recent statistics from an American Dental Association/Gallup national phone survey can help you compare your patient population with a larger picture.

Women are more likely to visit the dentist than men, more whites see their dentist than blacks, and visits to the dental office increase among those who have more income and education, according to statistics from the survey.

The results of the study, conducted in 1997, appear in a series of articles in the Journal of the American Dental Association and other ADA publications. Some of the results, as quoted by the Chicago Dental Society:

  • An almost equal number of non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black adults said they'd visited the dentist in the past year (74.7% and 71.6%, respectively). But other data show dental visits by non-Hispanic whites ranged from 11.5% to 18.5% higher, compared to non-Hispanic blacks.
  • Some 76.4% of women age 25 or older recorded dental visits in the past year, compared with 74.5 percent of men in the same age group.
  • Among participants 25 years or older, 59% with household income between $10,000 and $19,999 said they'd visited a dentsit within the past year. That compares with 84.9% of participants with annual incomes of $50,000 or more.
  • Some 60.7% of participants age 25 or older with less than 12 years of education said they visited a dentist within the past year, compared with 70.3% who had 12 years or more of education within the same age group.
  • Dental care use decreased with age. A little over 82% of 25- to 34-year-olds said they'd visited a dentist in the past year, compared with 68.5% who were age 65 or older.