Oral Health in Minnesota - Minnesota Department of Health

Oral Health in Minnesota

Health impact

  • Untreated tooth decay: 2 out of every 10 Minnesota third graders in public schools have untreated tooth decay.1
  • Total permanent tooth loss: 10.3 percent 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: 62.2 percent of Minnesota adults ages 65 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 every 10 American Indian children ages 6 to 9 and 13 to 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.

Dental visits

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 to 17 years.5
  • Only 72.9 percent of Minnesota children ages 1 to 17 years living in low income households (100% of the federal poverty level) had a past year dental visit, compared to 85.8 percent of Minnesota children ages 1 to 17 years living in higher income households (400% of the federal poverty level).5

Preventive dental visits

Preventive dental visits include services such as x-rays, oral exam, dental cleaning, and fluoride treatment.

  • Children under 6 years of age are 1.5 times less likely to have a preventive dental visit than children ages 6 to 17 years.5

Only 68.5 percent of Minnesota children ages 1 to 17 years living in low income households (100% of the federal poverty level) had a past year preventive dental visit, compared to 71.1 percent of Minnesota children ages 1 to 17 years living in higher income households (400% of the federal poverty level).5

Dental disease prevention

Dental sealants

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 to 9 years.

  • 6 out of every 10 Minnesota third graders in public schools have dental sealants on at least one permanent molar tooth1
  • In 2015, only 11.8 percent of children ages 6 to 14 years enrolled in a Minnesota Health Care Program (Medicaid) received at least one dental sealant on a permanent molar (back) tooth.6

Water fluoridation

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 percent 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

  • 73.9 percent of Minnesota adults ages 18 and older report having had at least one past year dental visit.2
  • 29.1 percent 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

  • 81.0 percent of Minnesota children ages 1 to 17 years have had at least one past year dental visit as reported by their parent or guardian.5
  • 29 percent of Minnesota children ages 1 to 20 years enrolled in a Minnesota Health Care Program (Medicaid) received at least one past year dental service.6

Children's preventive dental visits

  • 77.9 percent of Minnesota children ages 1 to 17 years have had at least one past year preventive dental visit as reported by their parent or guardian.5
  • Only 23.5 percent of Minnesota children ages 1 to 20 years enrolled in a Minnesota Health Care Program (Medicaid) received at least one past year preventive dental service.6

Dental insurance

People with dental insurance are more likely to use preventive and other dental services.

  • 28.0 percent of Minnesotans are without dental insurance.9
  • 14.4 percent of Minnesotans had foregone dental care within the past year due to cost.9

Dental workforce

The number of licensed oral health providers currently working in Minnesota:10

  • 3,452 Dentists.
  • 4,831 Dental hygienists.
  • 6,472 Dental assistants.
  • 89 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.

For more information

Minnesota Public Health Data Access Portal - Oral Health

Contact genelle.lamont@state.mn.us with questions.

References

12015 Basic Screening Survey for Third Graders. Minnesota Department of Health Oral Health Program.
22016 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.
52016 National Survey of Children's Health. Health Resources and Services Administration Maternal and Child Health Bureau.
62015 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.
82017 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.

Updated Monday, 04-Feb-2019 17:06:30 CST