Summary: Delta Dental’s 2024 State of America’s Oral Health and Wellness Report highlights a strong consumer understanding of the importance of oral health for overall wellness. It reveals that 91% of adults equate dental visits with annual physicals, showing increased awareness of oral health’s connection to various health conditions.

Key Takeaways:

  • Connection to Overall Health: Adults recognize the link between oral health and conditions like respiratory illness and diabetes, with younger generations showing the highest awareness.
  • Preventive Care and Teledentistry: There’s a rise in preventive dental visits, reducing unexpected visits, and teledentistry is gaining acceptance, particularly among Gen Z and Millennials.

Delta Dental released its 2024 State of America’s Oral Health and Wellness Report, revealing a strong consumer understanding of oral health’s vital role in overall wellness.

Oral Health and Wellness

In the report, an overwhelming majority of adults (91%) believe that their dental visit is as important as an annual physical.

The report also finds a greater awareness among adults of oral health’s connection to specific health conditions and diseases such as respiratory illness and diabetes. Younger generations, specifically Gen Z and Millennials, are most likely to appreciate this linkage.

“The findings from this year’s report underscore adults’ understanding of oral health’s relationship to whole person wellness, including its impact on physical, mental, and financial health,” said James W Hutchison, president and chief executive officer of Delta Dental Plans Association. “Delta Dental remains dedicated to continued collaboration across the health care industry to develop solutions that advance oral health and wellness.”

Key Findings From the 2024 Delta Dental Report

Good oral hygiene can support mental health:

  • More than 9 in 10 (92%) adults believe taking action to protect their oral health allows them to be more confident.
  • Over 3 in 4 adults (77%) say oral health is closely connected to mental well-being.

A rise in preventive oral health care pays off:

  • More than 8 in 10 adults (83%) who made a trip to the dentist in 2023 did so for preventive care, increasing from 78% in 2022.
  • Notably, there is a corresponding decline in unexpected dental visits among adults, decreasing from 41% in 2022 to 36% in 2023.

Teledentistry gains traction:

  • Nearly half of adults would use teledentistry when seeking oral health care (47%), and over half would trust the care (54%).
  • Gen Z and Millennials are more likely to engage in teledentistry and trust the care they receive through these services.

Delta Dental commissioned the research of 2,000 U.S. adults and parents of children 12 and under. Below are additional key findings from the 2024 State of America’s Oral Health and Wellness Report: