Dental spending in 2021 surpasses pre-pandemic levels: 4 things to know

Dental spending was higher in 2021 than in pre-pandemic years, according to a Dec. 22 article on the American Dental Association website.

Four things to know:

1. In 2021, national dental expenditures increased to $162 billion — an 11 percent increase from $146 billion in 2020.

2. Medicare and Medicaid spending increased by approximately $2 billion each.

3. Private health insurance spending increased by 11 percent while out-of-pocket spending increased by 13 percent.

4. In 2021, funding from COVID-19 government relief programs to the dental sector totaled $7 billion. Without these programs, the ADA's Health Policy Institute estimates that 2021 national dental spending would have been $155 billion — still above pre-pandemic levels, according to the article.

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