New poll finds growing consensus about the importance of oral health care during the pandemic

Authored by Vivian Vasallo, Executive Director of the Delta Dental Institute, and Dr. Joseph Dill, Head of Dental Science of the Delta Dental Institute 

Over the past 18 months, the COVID-19 pandemic has had countless twists and turns—from early lockdowns to reopening efforts, to the vaccine, to the emergence of new variants. Through it all, the Delta Dental Institute has been paying close attention to how the public is prioritizing oral health as part of their overall health.

New polling from the Delta Dental Institute indicates that more respondents view oral health care as a priority compared to a year ago, even as they continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. An increasing number of respondents say the benefits of visiting a dentist outweigh the potential risks of delaying care—76% agree, compared to 69% a year ago.

Meanwhile, 68% of respondents worry about the negative long-term health consequences of delaying a routine dentist appointment, nearly the same response as last year.

The Delta Dental Institute's poll provides a useful snapshot of how Americans are prioritizing their oral health amid the pandemic as vaccination rates rise, schools and offices reopen, and communities grapple with variants.

Oral health plays a crucial role in overall health. Delaying routine preventative care, even during uncertain times, can negatively impact not only oral health, but other aspects of wellbeing, including overall health and mental health. 

About the survey

This survey was fielded among a nationally representative group of Americans registered to vote. The survey was conducted online during the period of September 17 - 23, 2021, and has a margin of error of +/- 2.9%