Thursday, September 11, 2014

Going to the Dentist is Linked with Overall Well-Being

A recent study of over one-thousand American adults found that people who the dentist at least once a year are more likely to feel better about their life overall.  

In fact, " Americans who go to the dentist at least once a year are 22% more likely to report their overall well-being- their physical and emotional health-as good or better compared with those who seldom visit the dentist."
Not surprisingly, people who visit the dentist more often also tended to report better oral health. Americans who visit the dentist at least once a year are 37% more likely to report their oral health as good or better versus those who infrequently find themselves in a dentist's chair.   
The survey also found that income and education play an important role in getting to the dentist. For example, 86% of Americans making $100,000 a year or more visit the dentist at least once annually compared with 46% of Americans making less than $25,000. About eight of 10 college-educated adults (83%) had regular dental visits. For those Americans without a college degree, about six of 10 (59%) visit the dentist once a year.
The survey also showed some regional differences. For example, Americans in the Northeast (75%) visit the dentist more often than those in the South (60%), though that doesn't translate to statistically significant differences in reported oral health.
Dental coverage is also a significant factor in dental visits and overall well-being. Nearly eight of 10 Americans (78%) with dental coverage visit the dentist at least once a year versus only about half (52%) who don't have coverage.
In addition, Americans who have dental coverage are more likely to say their overall well-being is good or better compared to those without dental coverage. 
Half of Americans rate their oral health as very good or excellent, according to the Delta Dental study. Only 19% of Americans rate their oral health as fair or poor. Stronger reported oral health is linked with income, education and age. Younger Americans- those ages 18 to 24 and those ages 25 to 44- are more likely to rate their oral health highly than older Americans.

Despite the relatively strong 
oral health findings, 
several oral 
health challenges remain:

  • More than one of four Americans (27%) say they have open oral health issues that they'd like to resolve. The biggest reason for not addressing the problem is ability to pay for the work (cited by 62% of those with unresolved issues), while nearly a quarter (23%) mentioned fear of the treatment.
  • More than 1 of 5 Americans (21%) say they have been advised by a dentist that they have gum disease.
  • About 1 of 6 Americans (16%) say they have missed work due to oral health issues beyond regular treatments and cleanings.
*Article source: Health Insurance Underwriter- June 2014, Noteworthy
For more information about the benefits of Dental Insurance and the different options available, please contact Solidarity Health Network directly.