AGD Survey Shows Americans Unclear about Wellness Checkup Benefits

September 6, 2017
Sarah Handzel, BSN, RN

According to a new Academy of General Dentistry survey, many Americans are unaware that oral health is part of their overall health. Out of a sample of more than a thousand adults, a shocking 50 percent of participants reported that they don't view dentist as prevention experts, and more than 20 percent do not have a general dentist. For more figures from the AGD survey, continue below.

Many Americans remain ignorant to the ways oral health affects their general health.

A new survey from the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) shows that Americans are uncertain about the many health benefits they can receive by visiting a dentist on a regular basis.

The survey, which included responses from 1,174 adults, collected data on various topics, including views on dentists as experts in teeth cleaning and whitening, knowledge of other health problems related to good oral care, and the number of participants who visit a general dentist for wellness checkups.

Dentist’s Money Digest has already reported that several studies have described the relationship between good oral care and hygiene and a number of other health issues, like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The AGD emphasized that other health problems, such as anorexia and bulimia, are often initially identified by dentists since the first signs of these problems are localized within the mouth.

The data collected during the survey revealed a wealth of information about U.S. adults’ views and opinions on dentists and on the importance of regular dental checkups. According to the survey, only 14 percent of respondents view their general dentist as an expert in improving overall health, and only 25% associated going to their dentist with being screened for oral cancers. Other survey findings revealed that:

·50 percent of participants don’t view dentists as experts on prevention

·59 percent don’t view dentists as experts on overall, systemic health and wellness

·Less than 23 percent of respondents say their dentists keep up with the latest advances in dental technology and equipment

·Less than 30 percent view dentists as experts in teeth whitening procedures

·22 percent of survey participants don’t have a general dentist they visit on a regular basis

“The AGD represents nearly 40,000 general dentists who treat millions of patients each year; we know dental visits can feel unnecessary when patients don't perceive anything to be wrong. This survey underscores the need for greater awareness about oral health's relation to overall health,” Maria Smith, D.M.D. and AGD President, says. “The condition of your mouth often mirrors the condition of the rest of your body, and maintaining a healthy body includes taking care of your oral health on a regular basis.”

Smith added that general dentists are unique because of the frequency with which patients see them, even in the absence of symptoms. As the gateway to the body, poor oral health can cause or exacerbate cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, and more. Regular dental visits allow dentists to establish an oral care home base, educate patients, prevent disease, and screen for other conditions.

Discover more Dentist’s Money Digest® news here.

RELATED: More Coverage on

  • 5 Tips for Opening a New Office
  • Digital Technology to Improve Efficiency is Not the Future — it's Already Here
  • How I Took Advantage of a Mega Backdoor Roth IRA Without a High Income

Related Content:

News