- Dental care utilization among children dashboard in Tableau
- National trends in dental care use, dental insurance coverage, and cost barriers (PDF) (November 2023)
The dental care market
National dental spending was higher than pre-pandemic levels in 2021. See data breakdowns by payer type.
More research and insights
- The effect on dental care utilization from transitioning pediatric Medicaid benefits to managed care (March 2022)
- Comparative analysis of dental procedure mix in public and private dental benefits programs (October 2021)
- The effect of the great recession on the demand for general oral health care and orthodontic care (April 2019)
- The relationship between periodontal interventions and health care costs and utilization. Evidence from an integrated dental, medical and pharmacy commercial claims database (PDF) (January 2016)
- Simple indicators for projecting short-term dental market fluctuations (December 2015)
- Solving dentistry’s ‘busyness’ problem (August 2015)
- Where have all the dental care visits gone? (June 2015)
- Of lawyers, lattes and dentists (March 2015)
- U.S. dental spending up in 2021 (December 2022)
- Dental care utilization among the U.S. population, by race and ethnicity (PDF) (April 2021)
- How competitive are dental insurance markets? (PDF) (November 2019)
- Demand for restorative dental care varies by patient age (PDF) (February 2022)
- Recent trends in the market for oral surgeons, endodontists, orthodontists, periodontists, and pediatric dentists (PDF) (February 2017)
- Trends in fees and reimbursement rates for the most common procedures in endodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics, and oral surgery (PDF) (February 2017)
- U.S. dental spending up in 2015 (PDF) (December 2016)
- Recent trends in the market for endodontics (PDF) (September 2016)
- Dental care utilization steady among working-age adults and children, up slightly among the elderly (PDF) (October 2016)
- An analysis of dental spending among adults with private dental benefits (PDF) (May 2016)
- An analysis of dental spending among children with private dental benefits (PDF) (April 2016)
- The per-patient cost of dental care, 2013: a look under the hood (PDF) (March 2016)
Dental market FAQs
As of 2021, 43.3% of the U.S. population had a dental visit in the past 12 months. Among children ages 0-18 and seniors age 65 and older, 50.0% had a dental visit. For working-age adults ages 19-64, 38.7% had a dental visit.
Among children, disparities in dental care use have been narrowing over time among income and racial/ethnic groups and between the privately and publicly insured. Among adults and seniors, disparities remain.
Top reasons adults cite for avoiding the dentist include cost, fear of the dentist, and inability to find a convenient location or appointment time.
However, when adults are categorized by age, household income, and health insurance status, the top three reasons for not visiting a dentist vary.
Source: Oral health and well-being in the United States (HPI State Fact Sheets).
In 2021, national dental care expenditures amounted to $162 billion, up 11% from 2020 (adjusted for inflation). Private health insurance spending accounted for most of the expenditures in 2021, followed by out-of-pocket spending.
Source: U.S. dental spending up in 2021 (HPI Infographic).
The ADA cannot quote fees for dental procedures and is forbidden by federal law to set or recommend fees. The ADA Survey of Dental Fees report contains data from a nationwide random sample of dentists who were asked to record the fees most often charged for different dental procedures. The report provides information on what dentists who completed the survey typically charge, but these are NOT "recommended" fees from the ADA or an ADA standard for fees.
Related item: 2022 Survey of Dental Fees, available as a free download to ADA members.