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Survey: More Americans want to visit the dentist

March 21, 2018

Americans are still not seeing their dentist as much as they would like, according to a survey from Delta Dental Plans Association.

For a second year, dentists topped the list of health practitioners Americans want to see more often, according to the Adults Oral Health & Well Being Survey. According to the survey, 42 percent of Americans don't see a dentist as often as they would like, beating out their primary care doctor (29 percent), dermatologist (23 percent) and the ophthalmologist (17 percent).  

Meanwhile, 85 percent of Americans believe that oral health is very or extremely important to their overall health, according to a Delta Dental news release. And while they recognize the importance, only a quarter (25 percent) of Americans are extremely satisfied with the health of their mouth, teeth and gums and another 49 percent are somewhat satisfied. Only 15 percent rated their current oral health as excellent.

"Recognizing the importance of seeing a dentist is a good start," said Dr. Bill Kohn, chair of Delta Dental Plans Association's Dental Science Committee. "Why not take that next step and make an appointment for a checkup?"

The Adult's Oral Health & Well-Being Survey was conducted between Dec. 13-28, 2017 among 1,008 nationally representative Americans over 18.

Some other dental visit statistics from the survey:

  • Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed reported they visit the dentist at least one time per year, down from 62 percent in 2016.
  • Fifty-two percent made their most recent appointment for the purpose of having a regular checkup.
  • Seventeen percent made their most recent appointment to have a procedure done.
  • Fifteen percent made their appointment because they were experiencing mouth pain.