Research

Health disparities, like race and ethnicity, income, geography and age, greatly impact a person’s oral health. People who have been historically overlooked deal with health inequities in many Colorado communities. We partnered with the Colorado Health Institute to conduct a statewide oral health environmental scan.

Data analysis shows that large disparities exist in oral health status and access to care and insurance. Findings include:

  • Only 74% of Coloradans with low incomes report having good oral health.
    (84% of Coloradans report that their oral health is good, very good or excellent).
  • Only 51% of African Americans visited the dentist in the last year compared to 66% of all Coloradans.
  • Only 56% of children six and younger visited the dentist.
  • Only 63% of Coloradans with low incomes report both good physical and oral health status.
  • Over 70 % of Coloradans have dental insurance, but just over one-third of Coloradans ages 75 and older have insurance.
  • Only 61% of Coloradans just above the Medicaid eligibility threshold (134 – 250 of the federal poverty level) have dental insurance.
  • 20% of individuals with incomes at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level skipped needed dental care due to cost.
  • In the southeastern Colorado, only 56% of the population has dental insurance and 21% of residents skipped oral health care due to costs.

You can access a presentation of the complete scan here.