How Many Adults Skipped the Dentist Before the Pandemic?

August 30, 2021

empty dentist office during pandemicMany adults in the U.S. have struggled to schedule regular visits with their doctors and dentists due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Due to a lack of appointment availability, office policies, cost concerns or other reasons, many adults are just beginning to schedule regular healthcare checkups again. Reporting from the CDC in 2019, however, shows that skipping dentist appointments didn’t start when the pandemic did.

One-Third of Adults Lack Regular Dental Care

According to data from the Center for Disease Control’s 2019 National Health Survey, over one-third of adults in the United States had not seen a dentist for at least twelve months, even before COVID made it difficult. Only 64.9% of adults had seen a dental professional within the last year, leaving over 35% of those 18 and older going without oral healthcare services.

4 Common Reasons Adults Go Without Dental Care

While some of us simply forget to schedule appointments, or even make the choice not to see a dentist regularly, many adults do not have access to reliable dental care. The CDC’s 2019 survey helped break down a few of the reasons why so many adults are missing out on regular visits to the dentist.

  1. Location: For some, physically accessing dental care is not easy. Especially in more rural communities, adults may be faced with the challenge of a long commute to visit the dentist.
  2. Staffing: Dental assistant and dental hygienist shortages can quickly limit the availability of care in any location.
  3. Income: In both urban and rural areas, the likelihood of visiting a dentist increased with income.
  4. Access: Access to affordable dental care is an issue in all communities. Rural communities are often left without options and are only able to receive dental care from one location, while many urban communities lack low-cost clinics for the uninsured or those without disposable income.

The Dangers of Skipping the Dentist

Unfortunately, skipping out on the dentist now may end up costing you a lot more later. Regular dental cleanings and routine exams help your dentist catch signs of trouble early. Left undetected or able to spread, tooth decay can lead to pain, the formation of cavities, and even tooth loss or the need for expensive emergency services.

Meet With a Dentist at Panorama Dental

At Panorama Dental, our team of dental professionals are available to address all of your oral healthcare needs. We know that visiting the dentist can be stressful, and we’re here to help. Our staff works hard to improve the patient experience and provide a healthy and bright atmosphere for all.

In addition to routine cleaning and exam services, the dentists at Panorama Dental specialize in cosmetic and emergency services. Contact our office today to meet with a dentist and start on the path to a better, brighter smile.