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

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Updated: 3/20 9:35 am
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
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