Original Research

Tooth loss and dental visits by Indigenous American Indian/Alaska Native adults in the USA


name here
R Constance Wiener
1 MA, DMD, PhD, Associate Professor *


1 Department of Dental Public Health and Professional Practices, School of Dentistry, West Virginia University, PO Box 9415, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA

ACCEPTED: 23 October 2022

early abstract:

Purpose: The purpose of this research was to determine if there is a difference in dental visit or missing teeth among Indigenous People (American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) adults) by geographic and metropolitan settings.
Methods: Data were obtained from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), 2020, limited to AI/AN adults ≥18 years, n=6640.  Participants self-identified as AI/AN adults, and provided residence, dental status, and dental visits within the previous year.
Results: There were significantly more adults with missing teeth among rural AI/AN adults as compared with urban AI/AN adults.  In adjusted analysis, the AOR=1.33 (95%CI: 1.02, 1.73; P=0.04) for the rural AI/AN adults to have missing teeth as compared to the urban AI/AN adults. AI/AN adults had similar percentages of dental visits within the previous year regardless of their rural/urban status or region of the country.  Overall, there were 3738 (54.7%) who had a dental visit within the previous year.  
Conclusion: Interventions addressing rural AI/AN adults in maintaining teeth are critically needed.