Less than 60% of Kentuckians say they visited a dentist in the past year, ranking the state 43rd in the nation

Kentucky ranked 43rd among the 50 states in percentage of people who told pollsters that they had visited a dentist in the past 12 months. The rankings in the annual Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index appeared to be driven largely by income and insurance.

“Residents of the 10 states with the highest dental-visit rates are
somewhat more likely to say they have enough money to pay for healthcare
than residents in the 10 states with the lowest dental visit rates,
84.8 percent vs. 77.6 percent,” Lindsey Sharpe of Gallup reported. “Further, the bottom 10 states for dental visits have a
significantly higher average uninsured rate, at 20.5 percent, than the top 10
states for dental visits (12.6 percent). Previous Gallup research shows that
the likelihood of visiting the dentist annually increases with income.”

Kentucky’s 58.6 percent rate of reported visits in the past year ranked just below Missouri, at 59 percent, and ahead of Tennessee and West Virginia, with 56.9 and 56.6 percent, respectively. Figures for other adjoining states were Illinois, 66%; Indiana, 61.8%; Ohio, 63.6%; and Virginia, 67.5%.

Ranking below West Virginia were Texas, 56.3%; Arkansas, 56,1%; Louisiana, 55.3%; Oklahoma, 55.2%; and Mississippi, 53 percent. The top state was Connecticut at 74.9 percent, followed by Massachusetts at 74.5 percent and Rhode Island at 73.8 percent.

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