Dental spending from 2008 to 2011 was -0.3%, according to an American Dental Association snapshot of American dentistry. The snapshot shows that overall healthcare spending began to slow in the early 2000s but not to the extent that dental spending did.
From 1990 to 2002, overall health expenditures rose 3.6%, while dental expenditures increased 3.9%. However, from 2002 to 2008, while health spending was up 2.8%, dental spending rose just 1.8%. Then, from 2008 to 2011, health spending increased 1.6% as dental spending dropped -0.3%.
Click here to view a bar chart at ADA.org depicting the average annual growth rate of overall health and dental expenditures.