Disparities in Dental Health and Access to Care

Improvements in dental health care in the United States have not been equally shared by all groups.

Dental health in the United States has improved substantially in the past few decades, but not everyone has benefited equally. People of color, residents of low-income and rural communities, people with disabilities, and the elderly suffer disproportionately from tooth decay and gum disease and are less likely to visit a dentist than urban, white, and more well-to-do Americans. To help close the gaps in dental care access, Pew works to understand the issues driving disparities in dental care.

Additional Resources

Spotlight on Mental Health

Article

5 Dental Therapy FAQs

Midlevel providers are helping dentists increase access to care.

Quick View
Article

Another type of provider is helping dentists in private practice and public health settings address the gaps in access to dental health care that many Americans face.

Article

For Low-Income Kids, Sealants Prevented Nearly 1 Million Cavities Over 10 Years

Quick View
Article

The number of low-income children with sealants increased by about 70 percent from 1999-2004 to 2011-14, which prevented almost 1 million cavities in this group, according to a new analysis released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Composite image of modern city network communication concept

Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

Quick View

How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

Quick View

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.

Explore Pew’s new and improved
Fiscal 50 interactive

Your state's stats are more accessible than ever with our new and improved Fiscal 50 interactive:

  • Maps, trends, and customizable charts
  • 50-state rankings
  • Analysis of what it all means
  • Shareable graphics and downloadable data
  • Proven fiscal policy strategies

Explore

Welcome to the new Fiscal 50

Key changes include:

  • State pages that help you keep track of trends in your home state and provide national and regional context.
  • Interactive indicator pages with highly customizable and shareable data visualizations.
  • A Budget Threads feature that offers Pew’s read on the latest state fiscal news.

Learn more about the new and improved Fiscal 50.