According to a Gallup poll, about a third of all U.S. adults didn’t visit the dentist last year. These numbers are essentially unchanged from 2008, when the research firm started tracking visits.
Not surprisingly, there’s a strong relationship between high income and high dental visit rates. Adults with household annual income above $120,000 are twice as likely to say they’ve visited the dentist in the last year than adults with income under $12,000.
As far as geography is concerned, the Northeast continues to rank highest in dental visits, with Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island leading the pack. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Southern states like Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas ranked lowest for dental visits.
For dental practices, these low visit rates present an opportunity to add new patients, especially with the millions of adults who are expected to receive some form of new dental coverage in the next few years under the Affordable Care Act. The American Dental Association puts that number as high as 17 million newly covered adults.
Dentist CEOs with a business mindset will see this as a tremendous opportunity. To tap into it, they might look to a cloud-based practice management system with fully integrated patient communications to get the word out on the importance of annual visits.
For more information on the poll’s findings, follow this link.