Dental Visits Declined Among Adults From 2019 to 2020

Declines seen for men and women, across race and Hispanic-origin groups, and for each family income level

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WEDNESDAY, April 20, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- From 2019 to 2020, there was a decline in the percentage of adults with a dental visit in the previous 12 months, according to an April data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics.

Amy E. Cha, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Robin A. Cohen, Ph.D., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, used data from the 2019 and 2020 National Health Interview Survey to describe recent changes in the prevalence of dental visits among adults aged 18 to 64 years.

The researchers note there was a decline in the percentage of adults aged 18 to 64 years who had a dental visit in the previous 12 months from 2019 to 2020, from 65.5 to 62.7 percent overall and from 61.5 to 59.6 percent among men and from 69.3 to 65.8 percent among women. Decreases in the percentage of adults with a dental visit in the previous 12 months were seen in all race and Hispanic-origin groups between 2019 and 2020. The percentage of adults with a dental visit in the previous 12 months was lower in 2020 than in 2019 for each family income level. Dental visits declined between 2019 and 2020 among adults in large central, large fringe, and medium and small metropolitan areas.

"A previous study reported several predictors of unmet dental need among adults in the United States," the authors write. "Therefore, the decline in dental visits between 2019 and 2020 may be attributable to other factors in addition to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic."

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Physician's Briefing