In 2006, the national average a person spent on dental care was $607. In Georgia, the average expenditure among people who actually had one was $466. In Ohio, $474. The average in New Jersey on the other hand was $773, and in New York, $731. In California: $682.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, an excellent source of reliable statistics in a world filled with considerably less reliable "statistics," recently offered up an analysis of dental expenditures in the nation's most heavily populated states, comparing them with the national average.
And no, the research didn't assume that everyone in a state gets care. It looks only at the costs involved for those who did so. The access issue is more problematic.
The numbers are analyzed in other ways too -- percentage of residents with dental expenses, out-of-pocket expenses and amount paid by insurers.
Dental expenses made up 7.4% of all medical expenses in 2006.
Here's a recent collection of Times stories on finding affordable dental care:
-- Tami Dennis
Photo: Dental cleanings and fillings don't come cheaply. But waiting can add to the pain and expense.
Credit: Matthew Staver / Bloomberg