Unmet Dental Care Needs Falling among Low-Income Children, Rising Among Low-Income Adults and Seniors

October 2016 - 60 min

Download the PowerPoint slides

U.S. health care policy approaches child and adult oral health very differently. Comprehensive dental care for children is compulsory in Medicaid and CHIP. For adults, it is an optional benefit in Medicaid.

HPI released two studies examining the implications of this dual approach. In the first study (PDF), researchers examine trends in untreated caries based on the latest release of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The second study (PDF) focuses on seniors and shows how unmet dental care needs impact well-being.

Chair & Presenter
Marko Vujicic, PhD,
Chief Economist & Vice President, ADA Health Policy Institute


  • Lisa Simpson, President & CEO, AcademyHealth
  • Ron Pollack, Executive Director, Families USA
  • Tricia Neuman, Senior Vice President & Director, Medicare Policy, Kaiser Family Foundation
  • Linda Flowers, Senior Advisor, Public Policy Institute