Trends in annual dental visits among US dentate adults with and without self-reported diabetes and prediabetes, 2004-2014

Huabin Luo, Ronny A. Bell, Wanda Wright, Qiang Wu, Bei Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The authors assessed the trends of annual dental visits in dentate adults with diabetes or prediabetes or no diabetes, and assessed whether the racial and ethnic disparities in dental visits changed from 2004 through 2014. Methods: Data for this analysis came from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a US health survey that looks at behavioral risk factors that was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in cooperation with state health departments. Respondents indicated whether they had a dental visit in the past 12 months. Weighted proportions were calculated for annual dental visits in adults by diabetes status, and trends were assessed by racial and ethnic groups. Results: From 2004 through 2014, the proportion of annual dental visits declined from 66.1% to 61.4% (trend P =.02) in the diabetes group, 71.9% to 66.5% (trend P =.01) in the no diabetes group, and 66.0% to 64.9% (trend P =.33) in the prediabetes group. Age, income, and health insurance were moderators of the association between diabetes status and dental visits. Overall, the racial and ethnic disparity in dental visits did not change significantly during the period. Conclusions: Dental visits and services were less frequent in people with diabetes and prediabetes. Racial and ethnic disparities in use of dental services persisted during the observed period. Practical Implications: All patients, especially those with diabetes, are encouraged to visit a dentist at least annually. It is important for health care providers, such as primary care physicians and dental care and public health professionals, to make concerted efforts to promote oral health care in diabetes management. Improving access to dental services is vital to achieving this goal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)460-469
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Dental Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • Dental visits
  • diabetes
  • racial disparity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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