A Check Up on Women in the Dentistry Profession: Progress Is Being Made

A research study conducted by the Oral Health Workforce Research Center at the University at Albany’s Center for Health Workforce Studies, in collaboration with the American Dental Association, has found that women are making inroads in the field of dentistry.

Among the key findings of the study are:

  • In 2016, nearly 30 percent of all dentists in the United States were women, compared to 24 percent in 2010.
  • Overall, women dentists were younger and more diverse than their male colleagues. Higher proportions of women dentists were Hispanic, Black/African American, or were foreign trained, which contributes to increasing cultural and language diversity among dentists.
  • Women dentists were more likely to complete residency training in general dentistry or in pediatric dentistry than their male counterparts.
  • Women dentists were also more likely to serve younger patients and patients covered by public dental insurance, such as Medicaid, than male dentists.

Simona Surdu, project director for the Center for Health Workforce Studies, stated that “gender diversification of the dental workforce is only one aspect of our changing oral health care delivery systems. Many factors, including generational differences, will continue to affect practice patterns in dentistry. 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.”

Dr. Surdu graduated from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Romania and earned a Ph.D. in epidemiology from the State University of New York.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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