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1 in 4 Americans Under 65 Lacks Dental Insurance

Latest stats, from 2008, show employment, education and race all affect access to care

WEDNESDAY, June 9, 2010 (HealthDay News) -- About three-quarters (73 percent) of Americans under the age of 65 years had some type of dental coverage in 2008, but about 45 million had no coverage, according to a new report from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics.

"A primary indicator of access to dental care in the United States is dental insurance. Previous studies have shown that persons with private dental insurance have more dental visits in the previous year than persons without private dental insurance," wrote Barbara Bloom and Robin A. Cohen of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics, Division of Health Interview Statistics.

The complete report, Dental Insurance for Persons Under Age 65 Years with Private Health Insurance: United States, 2008, was released online June 9.

Among the other findings from the survey:

  • About 80 percent of people with employer-based private health insurance had dental coverage, compared with about 30 percent of those with directly purchased insurance.
  • Blacks were more likely to have dental insurance than whites, Asians or Hispanics.
  • About 40 percent of those with less than a high school education had no dental insurance of any kind.
  • The higher a person's income, the more likely they were to have dental insurance.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research offers tips on low-cost dental care.

SOURCE: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, news release, June 9, 2010
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