Economic Impact of a Bad Smile Estimated at $27 Million

An article in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry describes the impact improving oral health could have on employability. Dr. Halasa-Rappel, PhD and her co-authors used the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey to develop a Dental Problem Index (DPI) to quantify the impact of dental caries and missing anterior teeth on employment, and estimate the impact of a routine dental visit on the health of anterior teeth and the benefits of expanding dental coverage for non-elderly adults. They found that a routine dental visit has a negative impact on the DPI and improves the probability of employment and estimated that improvement in dental coverage would improve the employability of 9,972 non-elderly adults with an associated annual fiscal impact of $27 million.