Treatment Needs in Adolescents (12 to 19)

Oral health in general has improved significantly over the past several decades in all population subgroups. In spite of this improvement, significant disparities are still found in some population groups.

Time Since Last Dental Visit (Table 1)

  • 3% of Adolescents 12 to 19 have never been to the dentist.
  • 73% of all Adolescents age 12 to 19 have been to the dentist in the past year.
  • More white Adolescents and those in families with higher incomes have been to the dentist in the past year.

Table 1 presents the amount of time since the last dental visit among Adolescents age 12 to 19 and for selected subgroups. Each number represents the percentage of subjects who visited their dentist within that time frame.

 

Table 1: Adolescents, Time Since Last Dental Visit

Time since last dental visit among Adolescents 12 to 19 years of age, by selected characteristics:
United States , National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999–2004

 

Characteristic Never 1 Year or Less 1 to 2 Years 2 to 3 Years 3 to 5 Years More than 5 Years
Age
12 to 15 years 2.38 76.80 11.02 4.12 3.13 2.54
16 to 19 years 2.69 68.50 13.14 6.37 4.35 4.96
Sex
Male 2.70 70.66 12.18 6.04 4.15 4.27
Female 2.37 74.64 11.98 4.40 3.32 3.29
Race and Ethnicity
White, non-Hispanic 0.88 78.73 11.27 4.24 2.32 2.55
Black, non-Hispanic 3.27 65.29 14.07 6.41 5.96 5.01
Mexican American 10.64 54.82 13.50 7.84 6.58 6.63
Poverty Status (Income compared to Federal Poverty Level)
Less than 100% 4.08 61.78 15.91 6.95 5.54 5.74
100% to 199% 4.54 61.63 15.08 9.02 4.57 5.16
Greater than 200% 0.91 82.13 9.10 3.26 2.21 2.39
Overall 2.54 72.63 12.08 5.25 3.74 3.76

*NA = Not Applicable due to child’s age
a = Insufficient sample size

Data Source: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) has been an important source of information on oral health and dental care
in the United States since the early 1970s.  Table 1 presents the latest NHANES (collected between 1999 and 2004) data regarding dental visits in Adolescents.

Last Reviewed on
February 2018