- Geographic access to dental care (State Fact Sheets)
- Oral health and well-being in the United States (State Fact Sheets)
Dental coverage, access & outcomes
Learn more about the demographics and practice characteristics of dentists who accept Medicaid and CHIP.
More research and insights
- Dentists who participate in Medicaid: Who they are, where they locate, how they practice (July 2022)
- The 2021 report on oral health in America: Directions for the future of dental public health and the oral health care system (May 2022)
- The effect on dental care utilization from transitioning pediatric Medicaid benefits to managed care (March 2022)
- Time for dental care to be considered essential in US health policy (January 2022)
- Comparative analysis of dental procedure mix in public and private dental benefits programs (October 2021)
- Elevating dentistry through diversity (April 2021)
- Does preventive care reduce severe pediatric dental caries? (November 2020)
- Children's oral health: progress, policy development and priorities for continued improvement (October 2020)
- Oral health trends for older Americans (August 2019)
- Access to primary and dental care among adults newly enrolled in Medicaid (March 2019)
- Disparities in untreated caries among children and adults in the U.S., 2011-2014 (March 2018)
- Our dental care system is stuck: and here is what to do about it (March 2018)
- Why we need more data on the dental insurance market (January 2018)
- Income inequality in the United States and its potential effect on oral health (June 2017)
- Dental plan premiums in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces trended downward from 2014 through 2016 (April 2017)
- Geographic access to dental care varies in Missouri and Wisconsin (January 2017)
- Estimating premium and out-of-pocket outlays under all child dental coverage options in the federally facilitated marketplace (January 2017)
- Do dentists from rural areas practice in rural areas? (December 2016)
- Dental care presents the highest level of financial barriers (December 2016)
- Time to rethink dental “insurance” (November 2016)
- Is the number of Medicaid providers really that important? (March 2016)
- 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)
- Rethinking dentist shortages (May 2015)
- Reimbursement rates for child and adult dental services in Medicaid by state (PDF) (October 2021)
- Dental care utilization among the U.S. population, by race and ethnicity (PDF) (April 2021)
- Cost barriers to dental care among the U.S. population, by race and ethnicity (PDF) (April 2021)
- Emergency department visits for dental conditions - a snapshot (PDF) (April 2020)
- How competitive are dental insurance markets? (PDF) (November 2019)
- Medicare expansion and dental benefits coverage (PDF) (December 2018)
- Oral health and well-being among Medicaid adults by type of Medicaid dental benefit (PDF) (May 2018)
- Oral health and well-being among seniors in the United States (PDF)(September 2016)
- Dentist participation in Medicaid: how should it be measured? Does it matter? (PDF) (October 2021)
- Estimating the impact of Medicaid expansions on dentist supply (PDF) (August 2021)
- Making the case for dental coverage for adults in all state Medicaid programs (PDF) (July 2021)
- Estimating the cost of introducing comprehensive adult Medicaid dental benefits in Florida (PDF) (June 2021)
- Projected supply of dentists in the United States, 2020-2040 (PDF) (May 2021)
- Estimating the cost of introducing a Medicaid adult dental benefit in Maine (PDF) (March 2021)
- Estimating the cost of introducing comprehensive adult Medicaid dental benefits in Hawaii (PDF) (February 2020)
- Estimating the cost of introducing comprehensive adult Medicaid dental benefits Virginia (PDF) (January 2020)
- Main barriers to getting needed dental all relate to affordability (PDF) (April 2019)
- Could dentists relieve physician shortages, manage chronic disease? (PDF)(December 2018)
- Dental benefits coverage increased for working-age adults in 2014 (PDF) (October 2016)
- Dentists who participate in Medicaid: Who they are, where they locate, how they practice (Webinar) (September 2022)
- Data-driven insights on Medicaid dental care programs: new research from HPI (October 2021)
- Making the case for dental coverage for adults in all state Medicaid programs (July 2021)
- Measuring what matters - a new tool to help assess geographic access to Medicaid dentists in every state (February 2017)
FAQs about dental coverage, access and outcomes
Source: Dental Benefits Coverage in the U.S. (PDF) (HPI Infographic).
Dental coverage for adults enrolled in Medicaid varies drastically from state to state. The Medicaid Adult Dental Coverage Checker identifies where each state’s Medicaid adult dental benefits package falls on a continuum from "no dental benefits" to "extensive benefits".
Source: Medicaid Adult Dental Coverage Checker (CareQuest Institute for Oral Health).
Dentist participation in Medicaid varies by state. There are many ways to measure dentist participation in Medicaid, such as by enrollment in the program or by volume of patients.Source: Dentist Participation in Medicaid: How Should It Be Measured? Does It Matter? (PDF) (HPI Research Brief).
Children generally have higher dental utilization than adults. Individuals who have dental coverage, whether public of private, are more likely to visit the dentist than those who do not have coverage. However, the types of dental procedures obtained vary by patient benefit type and age group.
The types of services that children covered by Medicaid received are comparable to the services received by privately insured children. Among adults, those with Medicaid benefits had higher shares of more invasive services, such as oral surgery procedures, while privately insured adults had higher shares of preventive services.
Source: Comparative Analysis of Dental Procedure Mix in Public and Private Dental Benefits Programs (JADA).
The Health Policy Institute has developed a tool for measuring access to dental care using geo-analytics for each state and the District of Columbia. Results report the percentage of publicly insured children living within a 15-minute travel time to at least one Medicaid/CHIP dentist per 2,000 publicly insured children as well as the percentage of overall population living within a 15-minute travel time to at least one dentist per 5,000 population. Data are as of 2015.
Source: Geographic Access to Dental Care (HPI State Fact Sheets).
In general, White children, adults, and seniors have higher dental care use than Black and Hispanic children, adults and seniors. For all age groups, Hispanics and Blacks are most likely to face cost barriers to dental care.
Source: Cost Barriers to Dental Care Among the U.S. Population, by Race and Ethnicity (PDF) (HPI Infographic).
Between 2011-2014, an estimated 18.2% of children ages 5-18 had untreated caries while 26.5% of adults ages 19-64 and 16.7% of seniors over age 65 had untreated caries. Results vary by income level and race/ethnicity.
Sources: Disparities in Untreated Caries Among Children and Adults (BMC Oral Health).
An estimated 42% of adults over age 30 suffered from untreated periodontal disease between 2009-2014. Results vary by gender, education level, income, and other factors.
Source: Periodontitis in US Adults (JADA).