Posted on October 13, 2016
Challenge: US Adults not Seeking Dental Care
More US adults are putting off dental visits because of cost. Overall
visits to private dental practices fell 9% between 2006 and 2012, with
many adults seeking dental care at emergency centers and health clinics,
according to Kaiser Health News. A growing number of low- and
middle-income families report cost as a major barrier to dental care.
Due to cost coverage gaps, even those with dental insurance don't seek
care. Some 49% of adults with private coverage and 20% of adults with
Medicaid or CHIP saw a dentist in a recent year, according to a study by
the Kaiser Family Foundation. The Department of Health and Human
Services (HHS) awarded $156 million in grants to some 420 US health
centers this summer to address the demand for affordable dental care.
This marks the first time the (HHS) Health Center Program targeted
improvement to oral health services.
The growing gap between dental care costs and insurance coverage are causing a growing number of adults to avoid visits to the dentist.
US consumer prices for medical care commodities, which may impact
dentist operational costs for equipment and supplies, increased 3.6% in
July 2016 compared to the same period in 2015.
US consumer prices for medical care services, an indicator of profitability for dentists offices and clinics, rose 4.1% in July 2016 compared to the same month in 2015.
US personal income, which drives consumer ability to pay for dental services, rose 2.7% in June 2016 compared to the same month in 2015.