In 2015, the Ohio Department of Health conducted an oral health survey that focused on the oral health of third graders in Ohio. What the survey found was a direct correlation between income, oral health and how many students had been to the dentist in the past year.
Overall, the survey found that 20% of third-grade students had not been the dentist for more than a year. Of those students, only one-third of their parents said they could afford to send their child to the dentist and 21% said they did not have dental insurance of any kind.
On the reverse side, 90% of students who were covered under private insurance had gone to the dentist in the past year.
The survey also showed that 60% of students who qualified for the Free or Reduced Price Meal Program (FRPMP) had a history of tooth decay compared to 41% of students who did not qualify for FRPMP.
This information shows that there is a direct correlation between income and dental visits in the past year. The same trend can also be seen among adults, with dental insurance coverage being directly linked to dental visits.
In 2012, 37% of adults in Lucas County between the ages of 18-64 did not have dental insurance. The county also saw 39% of adults go without a dental visit for a year.
The same age range in Van Wert County had an uninsured dental rate of 36% with 45% of residents not going to the dentist in the past year.
Hancock County had the highest percentage of 18-64 -year-old residents without dental insurance at 37%. As a result, 40% of people did not go to the dentist for more than a year.
Lucas and Hancock Counties both had an uninsured dental rate that was higher than the state average (36.4%) in 2012, and Van Wert County was just below the state average.
Since oral healthcare is difficult for so many people to obtain in these three counties, the Dental Center of Northwest Ohio has set up locations in these counties to assist residents with receiving the dental care necessary to maintain good oral health.
Please contact the Dental Center in your county to see if you qualify for treatment.