October 28, 2015

Press Release # 047-15
Wednesday, October 28, 2015

MEDIA CONTACT: Christopher Miller/Julien Martinez:
(347) 396-4177, pressoffice@health.nyc.gov

Health Department Data Brief Highlights the Utilization of Oral Health Services Among Adults in New York City

Two in five adult New Yorkers had no preventive dental visit in the past 12 months

Among all hospital ER visits from 2009 to 2014, over 180,000 visits (1%) were identified as being preventable oral health visits

The Health Department today released a new Data Brief on the utilization of oral health services among adults in New York City. Using data from the agency’s annual Community Health Survey and Syndromic Surveillance, which collects data from hospitals across the five boroughs, the Health Department describes how New Yorkers are using preventive and emergency dental services. The Epi Data Brief, “Utilization of Oral health Services among Adults in New York City,” can be found on the agency’s website .

“We know that far too few New Yorkers see a dentist on a regular basis for preventive care,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “The Health Department is working with stakeholders to increase awareness and access to low-cost dental services across the city.”

In New York City, an estimated 60 percent of adults had a dental visit within the past year. The 2013 Community Health Survey (CHS) showed that 40% of adults did not have their teeth cleaned (preventive) by a dentist or hygienist in the past year. Young adults (aged 25 to 29 years) were more likely than adults aged 30 to 44 and adults aged 45 to 64 to not have a preventive dental visit. The likelihood of not having a preventive dental visit in the past year decreased as household poverty increased.

Nationally, hospital emergency department (ED) visits for dental conditions are on the rise. Among the neighborhoods who exhibited the highest rates of ED utilization for potentially preventable oral health issues in NYC are Bedford Stuyvesant-Crown Heights, Williamsburg-Bushwick, East New York, Jamaica, East and Central Harlem, South Bronx and Fordham-Bronx Park. The South Bronx alone accounted for 11% of all preventable oral health visits to the ED.

To help New Yorkers find affordable dental services, the Health Department has created a list of low and no cost and sliding fee scale dental facilities .