Cosmetic and General Dentistry


The goal is to understand the US dental and cosmetic dental industry by looking at trends, insurance and payment statistics, demographics, and reasons that people avoid the dentist.

Early Findings

  • As of 2019, 64.9% of US adults had visited the dentist in the past year.
  • As of 2017, the most recent year available, 84.9% of US children had visited the dentist in the past year.
  • 53% of US adults over the age of 65 have dental insurance.
  • Approximately 33.9% of US adults do not have dental insurance.
  • In 2018, $54.9 billion was spent out-of-pocket on dental services in the US. This compares to $62.2 billion paid from private insurers.
  • Because many people do not have dental insurance, the number of visits to an emergency department for dental care has doubled.
  • It is estimated that over $2 billion per year is spent on emergency dental care for otherwise preventable conditions, due to lack of regular dental care.
  • Some top reasons people avoid the dentist include fear of the pain or procedures, lack of insurance, shame from not going for a long period, and simply feeling like they don't need to because they don't have any current dental issues.
  • Currently, COVID-19 is also causing people to avoid the dentist for routine visits, especially as the World Health Organization released a statement recommending these non-emergency visits be postponed.


We were able to find some statistics for the number of people with dental insurance, as well as how many people visit the dentist regularly in the US. We were unable to find any trends or statistics showing the most popular ways to pay for dental services, though we did find some general statistics regarding how much is paid out-of-pocket. While there is some information related to the demographics of cosmetic dentists, we did not find any publicly available information related to the demographics of cosmetic dentistry patients.

Proposed next steps:

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