February 01, 2019
A visit to the dentist is one of the last things that we can’t outsource to a delivery service, at-home test kit or two-hour delivery in this modern world that seems to put convenience over just about everything else. Biannual dental appointments — which Mayo Clinic calls a “window to your overall health” — also happen to be people’s least favorite to make, according to a new report on national dental hygiene .
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 36 percent of adults have gone over a year without seeing a dentist. This despite clear evidence that the cost of prevention outweighs the cost of treatment. A checkup costs $90 to $137 on average while a single filling can go for $230 to $313. Not to mention a crown, which can set you back more than $1,200, the report said.
But holding up your end of the dental care bargain — by brushing, flossing and getting an annual checkup — aren’t the only things that impact dental health. Where you live can have an effect, too. For example, certain areas of the United States have a higher density of dental professionals. And one of the biggest locational factors is the presence of fluoridated water, which can help prevent tooth decay, the report explains.
In order to determine who has the healthiest teeth and gums, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 26 key indicators of dental wellness. Researchers ranked each state based off of their dental habits and care as well as oral health.
Topping the list is Wisconsin, and Arkansas brings up the rear. As for our local area, New Jersey is eighth on the list, while Pennsylvania ranks 36th.
The report also examined things like adolescent dental visits, adult dental visits, treatment costs and population of dentists. Pennsylvania ranked second on the list of states with highest percent of adolescents who visited a dentist in the past year. New Jersey ranked fifth both for states with the most dentists per capita and the lowest percent of adults with “poor or fair oral condition.”