Trends in the Number and Percentage of the Population with Any Dental or Medical Visits
In 2000, the first-ever Surgeon General's Report on oral health was released. Oral Health in America provided numerous examples of the connection between oral health and overall health, concluding that "oral health means much more than healthy teeth" and "is essential to the general health and well-being of all Americans." Full integration is multidirectional, incorporating oral health into different aspects of overall health (medical care, behavioral health, pharmacy care, etc.) and incorporating overall health concepts into dental practices.
Trends in the Number and Percentage of the Population with Any Dental or Medical Visits, a statistical brief from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey-Household Component presented the number and percentages of persons with any dental and medical visits. A dental visit included any reported visit in the year to any type of dental provider, including general dentists, specialists, hygienists, and technicians. A medical visit included any reported visit in the year to any type of physician or nonphysician provider in an office-based, inpatient, outpatient, emergency room, or home health setting.
- About 37 percent of Americans (121.2 million in 2018) visited a dentist and a physician at least once a year, and another 9 percent (28.2 million in 2018) visited only a dentist.
- The percentage visiting both a physician and a dentist in 2018 was higher among persons who are non-Hispanic White (43.7 percent) compared to those who are Hispanic (26.2 percent) or non-Hispanic Black (25.8 percent).
- Persons who are non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic other, male, aged 6 to 64, and living in the West and Midwest are more likely to visit a dentist only.