QuickStats: Percentage of Adults Aged 18 Years or Older Who Have Lost All of Their Natural Teeth, by Age Group — National Health Interview Survey, 2000 and 2017

June 7, 2019

The percentage of adults aged 18 years or older who had lost all of their upper and lower natural teeth decreased from 9.3% in 2000 to 7.0% in 2017, and this pattern was consistent in each age group shown.

Complete tooth loss declined from 2.9% to 2.3% among adults aged 18–44 years, from 10.1% to 6.5% among adults aged 45–64 years, from 25.6% to 14.2% among adults aged 65–74 years, and from 34% to 24.9% among adults aged 75 years or older.

SOURCE: Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2000. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_10/sr10_215.pdfpdf icon. Tables of Summary Health Statistics, 2017. https://ftp.cdc.gov/pub/Health_Statistics/NCHS/NHIS/SHS/2017_SHS_Table_A-6.pdfpdf icon.


Dental Care Among Adults Aged 65 Years and Over, 2017

May 29, 2019

Questions for Lead Author Ellen Kramarow, Health Statistician, of “Dental Care Among Adults Aged 65 Years and Over, 2017.”

Q: Why focus on dental care among adults aged 65 years or older in the United States?

EK: Dental care is often overlooked as people age, but it is an important component of overall health care. Chronic diseases such as diabetes and osteoporosis, which are common among older persons, can affect oral health; in addition, having poor oral health may contribute to some chronic conditions and impact nutrition. Routine dental care is not covered under fee-for-service Medicare, so older adults may have trouble accessing appropriate dental care.

Q: What are the main findings on dental insurance, dental visits, and unmet dental care due to cost?

EK: In 2017, among adults aged 65 and over, 29.2% had dental insurance; 65.6% had a dental visit in the past 12 months; and 7.7% had an unmet need for dental care due to cost.

No statistically significant differences by sex were observed in any of these dental care indicators. Adults aged 65–74 were more likely to have dental insurance, to have visited the dentist in the past 12 months, and to have unmet need for dental care due to cost compared with adults over age 75.

Poor older adults were less likely to have dental insurance and to have visited the dentist, and more likely to have an unmet need for dental care due to cost compared with not-poor older adults.

Q: Are there any reasons why more U.S. adults aged 65 years or older don’t have dental insurance?

EK: Most older adults have access to health insurance through Medicare, which does not cover routine dental care.  Older adults who do have dental insurance may have obtained it through purchase of a separate dental plan, through retiree health benefits, through a Medicare Advantage plan, or through Medicaid.

Q: Was there a specific finding in your report that surprised you?

EK: Only 30.3% of older adults who were edentate (had no natural teeth) had a dental visit in the past 12 months, compared with 73.6% who had at least some natural teeth.  Even edentate adults need dental care to help maintain good oral health.

Q: What is the take home message for this report?

EK: Many older adults do not receive dental care, and access to dental care varies by age, poverty status, and race and Hispanic origin.

QuickStats: Age-Adjusted Percentage of Adults Aged 18 Years or Older Who Reported That They Needed Dental Care During the Past 12 Months But Didn’t Get It Because They Couldn’t Afford It, by Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin

March 22, 2019

In 2017, more women (12.7%) than men (8.8%) reported that at some time during the past 12 months they needed dental care but didn’t get it because they couldn’t afford it.

This pattern was consistent within each racial/ethnic group: Hispanic, non-Hispanic white, and non-Hispanic black.

Among both men and women, Hispanic adults were most likely to have unmet needs for dental care because they couldn’t afford it.

Nearly 17% of Hispanic women could not afford to meet their dental care needs, compared with 12.8% of non-Hispanic black women and 11.8% of non-Hispanic white women; 12.3% of Hispanic men had unmet dental care needs, compared with 8.6% of non-Hispanic black men and 8.3% of non-Hispanic white men.

Source: Tables of Summary Health Statistics, 2017.