New report: 77 million adults have no dental insurance

BOSTON–()–CareQuest Institute for Oral Health® released new data on inequalities in oral health care from the second State of Oral Health Equity in America survey in a webinar last week. According to the survey, 77 million adults in the United States do not have dental insurance, and oral health disparities exist for many populations, including people of color, low-income people or uninsured and veterans.

The Survey of the State of Oral Health Equity in America created by the CareQuest Institute is a nationally representative survey of 5,682 adults to study knowledge, attitudes, experiences and behaviors related to oral health.

“We created this survey to better understand oral health disparities,” said Myechia Minter-Jordan, MD, MBA, president and CEO of CareQuest Institute for Oral Health. “These newly published findings provide additional insight into the many barriers faced by historically underserved populations and will help inform our ongoing work to address inequities in our oral health care system.”

This new data was published during a virtual discussion, “How’s America’s oral health doing? Barriers to care, common problems and persistent inequalities,based on the results of the survey and in which more than 300 people took part.

“This survey is the most comprehensive of its kind and the results validate the inequities we already knew existed in oral health,” said Ifetayo B. Johnson, executive director of the Oral Health Progress and Equity Network (OPEN), which was a panelist during the virtual discussion. “We look forward to working with the CareQuest Institute and our other partners to use these findings to effect systemic change and break the cycle of oral health disparities. »

The new survey results show the challenges that many populations face when it comes to oral health, including:

Black, Hispanic and Asian populations face oral health disparities

  • Higher proportions of Asian (49%), Hispanic (49%) and Black (48%) populations reported experiencing discrimination in oral health care compared to their white counterparts (33%).

  • Nearly 6 in 10 (59%) black adults have lost one or more permanent teeth due to cavities or gum disease, compared to 45% of all adults.

  • Higher proportions of black (34%) and Hispanic (25%) adults rate their oral health as fair or poor compared to white adults (23%).

  • 32% of black adults and 30% of Hispanic adults report at least moderate difficulty getting care for oral pain, compared to 21% of white adults.

There are oral health disparities due to lack of dental insurance:

  • 77 million adults currently have no dental insurance (29.8%).

  • 3 times more adults have no dental insurance than health insurance.

  • 1 in 4 (25.1%) without dental insurance said their overall health had deteriorated in the past year compared to those with dental insurance (19.9%).

Oral health inequities persist for veterans

  • 14% of veterans reported losing 6 or more teeth due to tooth decay or gum disease, compared to 8% of non-veterans.

  • 6% of veterans reported losing all of their teeth to decay or gum disease, compared to 3% of non-veterans.

  • Nearly half (49%) of veterans said a disability in their household made it difficult to access needed care compared to non-veterans (19.9%)

There are disparities in oral health status by income

  • More than twice the proportion of Americans in the lowest income category (13%) compared to those in the highest category (5%) rate their oral health as poor.

  • About 1 in 4 adults (24%) who earn less than $30,000 are often bothered or embarrassed by their mouth, compared to 8% of adults who earn more than $100,000.

  • 29% of adults earning less than $30,000 report delaying care due to COVID-19, compared to 19% of adults earning more than $100,000.

To access more information about the data, click here. More information on the The 2022 survey is available hereand Information from the 2021 survey can be accessed here.

About CareQuest Institute for Oral Health®

CareQuest Institute for Oral Health® is a national nonprofit organization advocating for a more equitable future where every person can reach their full potential through excellent health. We achieve this through our work in grantmaking, research, health improvement programs, policy and advocacy, and education, as well as our leadership in dental and health benefits. innovation. We collaborate with thought leaders, healthcare providers, patients and local, state and federal stakeholders, to accelerate the transformation of oral healthcare and create a system designed for everyone. To learn more, visit carequest.org and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebookand instagram.

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