Income, Access To Care Keep Kentuckians Out Of The Dentist Chair

Income, Access To Care Keep Kentuckians Out Of The Dentist Chair

The newest edition of the Kentucky Health Issues Poll shows that lower income, uninsured, and rural Kentuckians are the least likely to visit a dentist.
The newest edition of the Kentucky Health Issues Poll shows that lower income, uninsured, and rural Kentuckians are the least likely to visit a dentist.

The poll, funded in part by the Foundation For a Healthy Kentucky, found that six in ten (64%) Kentucky adults went to the dentist in the past year while one in six (15%) had not visited a dentist’s office in five years or more.
 
“Oral health is critical to overall health,” said Dr. Susan Zepeda, President/CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, in a release.  “The latest KHIP findings remind us of the ways economics and geography impact Kentuckians’ oral health and access to care."
 

KHIP highlights include:
 
  • About half (48%) Kentucky adults with income at or below 138% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) reported seeing a dentist in the past year, compared to eight in ten (81%) of those with incomes above 200% FPL.


  • Just over half (51%) of adults who live in Appalachian visited a dentist in the past year compared to seven in ten (71%) of adults living outside Appalachia.


  • More than seven in ten (73%) of those who define their overall health as very good or excellent went to the dentist in the past year while only 50% of those who said their overall health is fair or poor, went the dentist. 


  • One in four (24%) said their physician has asked about their oral or dental health. Adults whose physicians asked about their oral health were more likely to visit a dentist (73%) than those who were not asked by a physician (62%). 


  • Seventy percent of those who said they had insurance reported a dental visit within the past year. Only four in ten (43%) respondents who said they were not insured went to the dentist.

For more information on the poll and about the Foundation For A Healthy Kentucky you can visit www.healthy-ky.org.
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