Oral Health Care

<< Back

There is mounting evidence to suggest that there is a direct relationship between poor oral care and increased morbidity and mortality. Dental health coverage is not as available as medical health coverage. Even when coverage is offered, it often has high deductibles, exclusions, and co-pays. Getting regular preventative oral care is often seen as discretionary, particularly among low-income families.

In 2004, 25.9% of adults in King County had not seen a dentist or dental clinic in the past year. Prior to 2000, south King County experienced a decreasing trend in the number of adults who had not seen a dentist or dental clinic in the past year. Since, then, the trend has reversed itself, and now, south King County has one of the highest rates of adults who had not seen a dentist in the past year. Within south King County, Seatac and Tukwila have the highest rates of no regular dental care within King County.

Infrequent dental care was one and a half to two and a half times more likely to occur in lower income people than those making $50,000 or more.