Fast Facts & Figures

Insurance & Costs

  • Americans will be spending $106 billion on dental care in 2010, according to a study by the Pew Center on the States.
  • “Oral Health Update in America: A Report of the Surgeon General” reported that more than 108 million children and adults lack dental insurance, which is more than 2.5 times the number who lack medical insurance.
  • American families spent an average of $6,000 on out-of-pocket health insurance and other medical costs like co-pays and deductibles in 2009, reports the National Coalition on Health Care, which estimates that number will jump to $9,000 by 2012.
  • According to the Society for Human Resource Management, dental insurance tops the list of benefits employers are looking to pare back.
  • The U.S. spent $282 million per hour on health care, according to a 2009 report by independent actuaries at the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
  • In 2010, the government released a new estimate that health care spending grew to a record 17.3 percent of the U.S. economy last year, marking the largest one-year jump in its share of
    the economy.
  • The American Dental Association (ADA) says that more than 50 percent of general practice dentists lost money and patients in 2009.

Dental Care

  • More than 50 percent of uninsured and 30 percent of insured Americans skipped necessary dental care visits during the last year due to financial burdens, according to a 2009 Harris Interactive/HealthDay Poll.
  • Results from the most recent Gallup-Healthways poll of 355,334 Americans indicate that 34 percent of the population did not visit a dentist last year at all.
  • Nearly 75 percent of American adults suffer from various forms of gum disease and don’t know it according to the American Dental Hygienist Association.
  • The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry estimates that Americans spend about $2.75 billion each year on cosmetic dentistry. Two thirds of cosmetic dentistry patients are female
    and 33 percent are male.
  • According to the ADA, a person’s smile outranked eyes, hair and body as the most important physical feature.


  • At least one in five U.S. children go without annual dental care and most states lack key policies to ensure access to cost-saving preventive treatments, according to a 2010 study by the Pew
    Center on the States.
  • Only 48 percent of children entering kindergarten have seen a dentist within the past year and 52 percent ages six to eight have tooth decay, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
  • According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), more than 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental-related illness.
  • Tooth decay is the most common and the most preventable disease in children, according to the AGD. Tooth decay is five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever.