Oral Health Surveillance Report, 2019

About this resource:

Non-Systematic Review

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Last Reviewed: December 2021

Workgroups: Oral Health Workgroup

This Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) surveillance report provides national estimates for selected measures for oral health status during 2011 to 2016, examines changes since 1999 to 2004, and highlights disparities in oral health by certain sociodemographic characteristics. 

CDC found that:

  • Although disparities by race/ethnicity and poverty status remain, the findings in this report highlight improvements in oral health among children and adolescents since 1999–2004
  • In contrast, during 2011–2016, about 1 in 4 working-age adults and 1 in 6 older adults had untreated tooth decay

CDC points out that:

  • Improvements in children’s oral health status likely reflect increased access to preventive and restorative care, for example through State Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs
  • The range of covered services among children and adults with public insurance is a key factor affecting dental care use. Public dental insurance coverage for children offers comprehensive dental benefits (like diagnostic, preventive, and restorative services), while coverage for adults is commonly limited to emergency services
  • Cost remains a major barrier to getting dental services across the lifespan and is the most common reason working-age adults don’t seek dental care
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Suggested Citation


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). Oral Health Surveillance Report: Trends in Dental Caries and Sealants, Tooth Retention, and Edentulism, United States, 1999–2004 to 2011–2016. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/publications/OHSR-2019-index.html.