Codes and Frequencies
DENTINT indicates the length of time since the person has last seen someone for dental care. The definition of dentist remained similar over time, although changes in the question wording may reduce comparability.
For 1969 to 1989, the survey text specifically asked respondents about visits to dentists only. However, the Field Representative's Manual for 1969 to 1989 noted that a dentist included "A person who has been trained in ["who is concerned with" in 1969] the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of the teeth and adjacent tissues." The Manuals noted various types of dental care professionals (the specific types changed over time), including oral surgeons, endodontists, orthodontists, periodontists, prosthodontists, dental hygienists, and a dentist in a general practice. In 1988, interveiwers asked when the sample child had last seen someone for dental care. For 1997 forward, the survey text specifically stated that respondents should consider all types of dentists, such as orthodontists, oral surgeons, and all other dental specialists, as well as dental hygienists when answering the question.
For 1969-1989, persons who had seen a dentist in the past 2 weeks were assigned a code indicating they had seen a dentist in the past two weeks and were not asked this question.
For 1969-1989, proxy reporting was allowed: the sample person answered questions for all household family members. In addition to these changes, the universe for this question changed over time; see the comparability tab for details.
- 1969: Persons who had not seen a dentist in the past two weeks.
- 1970-1981: Persons 1 year and older who had not seen a dentist in the past two weeks.
- 1983: Persons 1 year and older who had not seen a dentist in the past two weeks.
- 1986: Persons 2 years and older who had not seen a dentist in the past two weeks
- 1988: Sample persons age 3 to 17.
- 1989: Persons 2 years and older who had not seen a dentist in the past two weeks
- 1997-2000: Sample adults age 18+ and sample children age 2 to 17.
- 2001-2018: Sample adults age 18+ and sample children age 1 to 17.
- 1969-1981, 1983, 1986, 1988-1989, 1997-2018