Dental Field Becoming More Female, More Diverse
The dental profession is undergoing demographic changes, especially changes in gender distribution. A recent research study conducted by the Oral Health Workforce Research Center (OHWRC) at the University at Albany’s Center for Health Workforce Studies (CHWS) in collaboration with the American Dental Association evaluated differences in dental practice characteristics and service delivery by gender to anticipate changes that might affect the availability of dental services for underserved populations in the future.
Key findings included:
- In 2016, nearly 30% of all dentists in the US were female, versus 24% 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 were 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 than male dentists.
- Female dentists were also more likely to serve younger patients and patients covered by public dental insurance, such as Medicaid, than male dentists.
To view the report, visit the CHWS website at http://www.chwsny.org.