Cost is a major barrier for people who skip dental visits

By Theresa Pablos, associate editor

October 19, 2017 -- The majority of U.S. residents who needed a dental visit in the past year got one, according to new data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But for people who needed a visit and didn't get one, the majority cited cost as a barrier.

The statistics come from newly released data from the 2015-2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The survey is conducted by the CDC Center for Health Statistics and is designed to provide nationally representative data about the health status of children and adults in the U.S.

According to the new survey results, 16% of people who needed a dental visit in 2015-2016 couldn't get one. The overwhelming majority listed cost, followed by insurance not covering the procedures they needed. Having a dentist who was too far away was one of the lesser cited reasons for forgoing dental care.

The data also showed that the majority of U.S. residents see a dentist at least once per year. About half of Americans surveyed visited the dentist every six months, followed by 16% who visited annually. About 7% of the children and adults surveyed had never visited the dentist.

Check out the infographic below for more dental visit statistics from the 2015-2016 survey.

Dental visits in the U.S.

Copyright © 2017

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