Minnesota Oral Health Data
Oral health in Minnesota
- Untreated tooth decay: 2 out of every 10 Minnesota third-graders in public schools have untreated tooth decay.1
- Total permanent tooth loss: 8.8% of Minnesota adults ages 65 and older have had all their natural, permanent teeth removed due to tooth decay or gum disease.2
- Any permanent tooth loss: 34.7% of Minnesota adults ages 18 and older have had at least one natural, permanent tooth removed due to tooth decay or gum disease.2
Oral health disparities
Untreated tooth decay
5 out of 10 American Indian children ages 6-9 and 13-15 in the Bemidji Area Indian Health Service area including Minnesota have untreated tooth decay.3,4
Untreated or treated tooth decay (caries experience) among Minnesota third graders enrolled in public schools are:1
- 1.6 times more likely in public schools with high free and reduced price lunch eligibility (lower income households) than with low free and reduced price lunch eligibility (higher income households).
- 1.3 times more likely in rural than urban public schools.
- 1.4 times more likely among Hispanic third graders than white, non-Hispanic third-graders.
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend at least one dental visit each year, starting when the first tooth appears or no later than the child's first birthday.
- Minnesota children under 6 years of age are 1.5 times less likely to have dental visits than children ages 6-17.5
- Minnesota children with special healthcare needs were 17% more likely to have a past year dental visit, compared to children without special health care. 5
Preventive dental visits
Preventive dental visits include services such as x-rays, oral exam, dental cleaning, and fluoride treatment.
- Children under 6 are 1.7 times less likely to have a preventive dental visit than children ages 6-17.5
- Minnesota children with special health care needs were 20 percent more likely to have a past year dental visit, compared to children without special health care needs.5
Dental disease prevention
A dental sealant is a plastic material applied to the biting surfaces of molars and premolars (back teeth) to prevent tooth decay, one of the most common chronic diseases among children ages 6- 9.
- 6 out of every 10 Minnesota third-graders in public schools have dental sealants on at least one permanent molar tooth.1
- In 2019, only 14.6% of children ages 6-14 enrolled in a Minnesota Health Care Program (Medicaid) received at least one dental sealant on a permanent molar (back) tooth.6
Drinking fluoridated tap water can prevent tooth decay.
- 4,320,104 Minnesotans are served by 730 municipal public water systems.7
- 4,318,223 or 77.4% of Minnesotans receive optimally fluoridated water.7
Adult dental visits
A visit to the dentist at least once a year can prevent tooth decay and identify dental diseases and oral conditions early. Early treatment is usually less painful and less expensive.1
- 69.6% of Minnesota adults ages 18 and older report having had at least one past year dental visit.2
- 27.5% of Minnesota adults ages 21 and older enrolled in a Minnesota Health Care Program (Medicaid) received at least one past year dental service.8
Children's dental visits
- 78.2% of Minnesota children ages 1-17 have had at least one past year dental visit as reported by their parent or guardian.5
- 43.9% of Minnesota children ages 1-20 enrolled in a Minnesota Health Care Program (Medicaid) received at least one past year dental service.6
Children's preventive dental visits
- 78.1% of Minnesota children ages 1-17 have had at least one past year preventive dental visit as reported by their parent or guardian.5
- Only 40.2% of Minnesota children ages 1-20 enrolled in a Minnesota Health Care Program (Medicaid) received at least one past year preventive dental service.6
People with dental insurance are more likely to use preventive and other dental services.
- 25.3% of Minnesotans are without dental insurance.9
- 15.5% of Minnesotans had foregone dental care within the past year due to cost.9
The number of licensed oral health providers currently working in Minnesota:10
- 3,489 Dentists.
- 4,896 Dental hygienists.
- 6,582 Dental assistants.
- 92 Dental therapists.
The overall dentist to population ratio is 1 dentist per 1,641 Minnesotans.11
- 1 dentist per 1,601 urban residents.
- 1 dentist per 2,153 micropolitan or large rural residents.
- 1 dentist per 2,272 small town or small rural city residents.
- 1 dentist per 3,938 rural or isolated city residents.
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12015 Basic Screening Survey for Third Graders. Minnesota Department of Health Oral Health Program.
22020 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Minnesota Department of Health.
3Indian Health Service Data Brief, March 2014 (PDF). Indian Health Service
4Indian Health Service Data Brief, May 2014 (PDF). Indian Health Service.
52018-2019 National Survey of Children's Health. Health Resources and Services Administration Maternal and Child Health Bureau.
62019 Early & Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (CMS-416) Report. Minnesota Department of Human Services.
72017 Water Fluoridation Reporting System. Minnesota Department of Health Drinking Water Protection Section.
82020 Minnesota Health Care Programs Claims by County of Residence. Minnesota Department of Human Services.
92017 Minnesota Health Access Survey. Minnesota Department of Health, Health Economics Program.
10November 2018 Statistics of Licensees. Minnesota Board of Dentistry.
112015 Dental Workforce Statistics. Minnesota Department of Health Office of Rural Health and Primary Care.