The dental profession is undergoing demographic changes according to a recent study by the Oral Health Workforce Research Center at UAlbany’s Center for Health Workforce Studies (CHWS).
In collaboration with the American Dental Association and supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the team found:
- In 2016, nearly 30 percent of all dentists in the U.S. were female, versus 24 percent in 2010, which suggests that more women are entering the field.
- Overall, female dentists were younger and more diverse than their male colleagues. Higher proportions of female dentists were Hispanic, black/African American, or foreign trained, which contributes to increasing cultural and language diversity among dentists.
- Female dentists were more likely to complete residency training in general dentistry or in pediatric dentistry than their male counterparts.
- While the majority of female and male dentists owned their practices, worked full time and practiced in suburban or urban areas, proportionally more female dentists were employees, worked part time and practiced in urban areas.
- Female dentists were more likely to serve younger patients and patients covered by public dental insurance, such as Medicaid.
“Gender diversification of the dental workforce is only one aspect of our changing oral health care delivery systems,” said CHWS Project Director Dr. Simona Surdu. “Many factors, including generational differences, will continue to affect practice patterns. It is important that we continue to study the oral health workforce in order to ensure an adequate supply and appropriate distribution of dental professionals to meet the needs of the growing and aging US population.”
For more information on the study, visit the report.
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, Publish on September 06