For all persons, DVEXPTOT captures the sum of direct payments for dental care, including care provided by general dentists, dental hygienists, dental technicians, dental surgeons, orthodontists, endodontists, and periodontists provided during the year, including out-of-pocket payments and payments by private insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, and other sources. Payments for over-the-counter drugs and indirect payments not related to specific medical events, such as Medicaid Disproportionate Share and Medicare Direct Medical Education subsidies, are not included in this amount. For more information on how MEPS collects expenditure data, please refer to our user note on medical expenditures.
For a small proportion of sample persons, the sum of the general dentist (DVGTOTVIS) and orthodontist visit (DVOTOTVIS) variables may not be equal to the total number of dental visits. This result can only occur for persons who were reported to have seen both a general dentist and orthodontist in the same visit(s). When this occurred, expenditures for the visit were included as orthodontist expenses (DVOEXTOT) but not as general dentist expenses (DVGEXTOT).
Variables related to total annual health care expenditures by source of payment, total annual health care expenditures by type of medical service, and total annual health care charges are also available. Please refer to our user note on expenditures for a list of these variables.
DVEXPTOT is a 6-digit numeric variable.
ComparabilityThe comparability of this variable over time has not yet been assessed.
- 1996-2018 : PERWEIGHT