For the third year in a row, Connecticut residents were the most likely to say they visited a dentist in the last 12 months. The state is joined by two New England neighbors, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, as the only states where nearly three in four residents report that they visited a dentist. The top 10 states for dental visits, according to a Gallup Healthways Well-Being survey, are: Connecticut (74.9%), Massachusetts (74.5%), Rhode Island (73.8%), Alaska (72.6%), Wisconsin (72.4%), Minnesota (71.9%), North Dakota and Utah, (each at 71.4%), Delaware (70.9%) and South Dakota (70.7%).
Just over half of the residents in Mississippi say they’ve visited a dentist during the past year (53%), coming in last for dental care among the 50 states. At the bottom of the list with Mississippi are Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, West Virginia and Tennessee.
Five states - Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and Minnesota - have ranked in the top 10 states for dental visits every year since Gallup and Healthways began daily tracking in 2008.
Connecticut has taken the top spot four times -- from 2011 through 2013, and in 2009. On the other end of the spectrum, eight states -- Mississippi, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky -- have ranked in the bottom 10 every year since 2008. Nationally, 64.7% of Americans in 2013 said they visited the dentist at least once in the past 12 months. This is essentially unchanged from 65.4% in 2012, and remains in line with the averages reported in previous years since 2008.
These findings are based on interviews with more than 178,000 American adults conducted during 2013 as a part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. Respondents were asked whether they visited the dentist in the last 12 months.
Residents of Eastern states are the most likely to report visiting the dentist in the past year, according to the survey data. Residents in the Midwest are the second-most likely to report visiting the dentist in the past year, and four Midwestern states are included within the top 10 for 2013. Residents of Southern states are the least likely to go to the dentist and make up eight of the bottom 10 states for dental visits.
The study noted that a relationship between dental visits and income exists, and those states with fewer reported visits also have, on average, a relatively lower percentage of residents with enough money to pay for healthcare and a higher percentage of uninsured residents.