The fear of having someone poke at your teeth with drilling instruments isn’t the only thing keeping people away from the dentist.
According to a Gallup Poll released in September, household income, dental insurance coverage* and oral health behaviors are critical factors for those who did, or did not, visit the dentist in the past 12 months. (Read Huffington Post)
A separate report released by the Commonwealth Fund estimated that 9 million adults lost their health insurance in the last two years. And, an estimated 29 million people have used up all of their savings to pay medical bills.
States in the Northeast and upper Midwest, including Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin, were the most likely to visit the dentist. While Southern states, including Mississippi, West Virginia and Louisiana, were the least likely.
Here are the top 12 states least likely to visit the dentist in the past 12 months, according to the Gallup Poll:
- West Virginia
The study comes at a time when many families across the country are flocking to health clinics and events promoting free dental care appointments.
Also, some families are starting to head back to the dentist for more work at higher costs following years of missing dental checkups due to financial burdens. And now, what was once a cavity filling for around $100 has become a $900 root canal procedure.
*The Gallup Poll only confirms whether a respondent has health insurance, not dental insurance.