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

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5 Dental Therapy FAQs

Midlevel providers are helping dentists increase access to care.

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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.


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

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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).

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Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

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

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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.

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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.

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

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