Dental Care Spending: Statistics and Trends - NewMouth (2024)

Dental care spending is a crucial aspect of healthcare expenditure, with significant implications for oral health outcomes and overall well-being.

This article explores the latest global dental care spending statistics, highlighting variations across countries, income levels, and time periods. Examining these trends and their underlying factors helps us gain valuable insights into the current state of dental care financing and its impact on access to oral health services.

Key Statistics on Global Dental Care Spending

The following statistics underscore the magnitude and projected growth of dental care expenditures worldwide:

  • In per capita terms, the average spending on dental health among OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries is projected to grow from $221 in 2015 to $277 in 2020 and to $365 by 2040.
  • The study forecasts that Germany will have the highest per capita dental expenditures in 2040 ($889), followed by the United States ($729), Switzerland ($684), Canada ($563), and Denmark ($550). In contrast, Mexico is predicted to have the lowest per capita dental expenditures in 2040 ($52).
  • The global oral care market is projected to grow by 3.14% from 2024 to 2028, resulting in a market volume of $60.14 billion by 2028. This reflects the increasing awareness and demand for oral care products and services worldwide.

Variations by Country and Income Level

Dental care spending statistics vary significantly by country and income level. This reflects disparities in access, insurance coverage, and socioeconomic factors. For example:

Variations by Country

CountryOut-of-Pocket Payment as % of Total Dental Care Expenditure
OEC Average55%
  • Japan, Germany, Austria, and the United Kingdom have a higher share of dental care covered by government spending: 79%, 68%, 47%, and 46%, respectively.
  • In France, socioeconomic determinants such as income and social deprivation significantly influence dental service expenditure. For instance, the highest level of social deprivation was associated with an additional EUR +44 dental expenditure.

Variations by Income Level

  • High-income individuals are more likely to use dental services and spend more on dental care than low-income individuals.
  • In France, people with the highest incomes were more likely to use dental services and good dental health status was associated with less expenditure.
  • In the United States, there are disparities in dental care use by race/ethnicity and income, with the disparities generally smallest for children. For example, only 19.7% of adults with incomes below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPLs) visited a dentist, compared to 50.7% of those with incomes above 400% FPLs.

Dental Care as a Percentage of Health Care Budgets

The allocation of health care budgets to dental care varies by source and context, but specific percentages can be drawn from the provided sources:

  • According to the CMS fact sheet on National Health Expenditures for 2022, dental services accounted for a 4% share of the total U.S. healthcare spending, amounting to $165.3 billion.
  • The CDC’s Health, United States report indicates that dental services comprised 4.5% of personal health care expenditures in 2019.
  • From these sources, it can be inferred that dental care represents a small but significant portion of health care budgets, with specific figures from the U.S. indicating a range of around 4% to 4.5% of total health care or personal health care expenditures allocated to dental services.

Changes in Dental Care Spending Over Time

Dental care spending has experienced fluctuations over time. Various factors influence these changes, including economic conditions, changes in public policy, technological advancements, and shifts in consumer behavior:

United States

In the United States, dental care spending has shown significant growth, with projections indicating continued increases in the future.

For instance, annual spending on dental care in the U.S. is projected to rise to $230 billion by 2030, up from $142.4 billion in 2020.

Dental Care Spending: Statistics and Trends - NewMouth (1)

Despite the overall increase, there have been periods of slower growth or decline, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, when dental spending dropped by 45% in 2020 compared to pre-pandemic levels. However, spending rebounded in 2021-2022, exceeding pre-pandemic levels.


The dental care market in Canada has also seen growth, with total expenditures on dental services amounting to $13.6 billion in 2015. The market is characterized by a mix of private and public-sector expenditures, with most dental care being privately financed.

The introduction of newer technologies and an aging population are among the main drivers propelling the growth of Canada’s oral care market. This was valued at $2.8 billion in 2022 and is estimated to expand at a CAGR of 6.2% from 2022 to 2030.

Factors Influencing Spending Trends

Several factors have influenced dental care spending trends in both countries:

  • Economic conditions, such as economic downturns like the Great Recession, have impacted the demand for dental care.
  • Government initiatives, like the proposed national dental care program in Canada, can significantly affect spending patterns.
  • Innovations in dental care, including 3D printing and digital imaging, have improved the efficiency and accessibility of dental procedures, potentially increasing spending.
  • Changes in consumer behavior, including increased awareness of oral health and demand for cosmetic dentistry services, have also driven spending trends.

Dental care spending is a complex and multifaceted issue, with significant variations across countries, income levels, and time periods. Understanding these dynamics is key to prioritizing oral health within overall healthcare.

As countries grapple with rising healthcare costs and the need to ensure equitable access to dental care, it’s crucial to consider the factors driving spending trends and the potential impact of policy interventions.

Investing in preventive care, tackling socioeconomic disparities, and embracing new technologies help pave the way for a brighter future⁠—one where oral health is valued as a cornerstone of overall well-being and dental care spending delivers optimal results for individuals and communities everywhere.

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Dental Care Spending: Statistics and Trends - NewMouth (2024)
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